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Student fees increase inches closer to approval

A proposal to increase student fees by a combined 5 percent needs one more set of eyes before it’s implemented in the 2010-11 academic year.

USF’s Board of Trustees (BOT) plans to make its final decision in December on whether the increase is appropriate, said Harold Bower, chief financial officer of Student Affairs and senior director of the Student Affairs Shared Services Center.

If approved by the BOT, students will pay a $9.99 Activity and Service (A&S), $12.38 Athletic and $8.84 Student Health fee per student credit hour beginning next academic year.

USF President Judy Genshaft, Student Body President Juan Soltero and the University’s finance and audit work group approved the fee increase earlier this month, said Director of Student Government (SG) Administrative Services Eric Reiter.

A&S fees are used to fund SG and student services like the Marshall Student Center and the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) among other things, Bower said.

Soltero said he and Genshaft weree concerned about whether some A&S funding will go to the construction of new intramural fields, which includes four lighted fields across from the Juniper-Poplar Residence Hall.

The Student Health fee helps fund Student Health Services (SHS) and the Counseling Center. Money from the increase would fund the hiring of a full-time psychologist for SHS, he said.

Funds will also support a program coordinator/counselor for Students of Concern Assistance Team (SOCAT), a program designed to identify troubled students, Soltero said.

Funds from the Athletic fee help support student athletes’ scholarships, he said.

State legislation gives universities the option to increase fees each year, and this would be the seventh consecutive year USF’s have increased.

This academic year, students paid $9.31 in A&S, $11.76 in Athletic and $8.60 in Student Health fees.