Activity Fee fails, CSOs will suffer

We understand that students frown upon two fee increases in such a short time span. Just last month, Student Government Organization voted in favor of the Wellness Fee, $40/semester that will support the maintenance of Simon Recreation Center, as well as fund other student health initiatives. And then, in Monday’s election, we were given the option to increase the activity fee by $10.

The student body (or those who voted, anyway) said no. Were two fees too much? It does feel like we are constantly being asked to increase our payment to the University, and perhaps students saw “fee” as a red flag word that they would vote down to matter what it was going toward. Perhaps students were—and rightfully so—plain burnt out on giving dollar after dollar to our University without really seeing the manifestation of that investment.

However, the Student Activity Fee is different. It would have given money directly to the students in Chartered Student Organizations. It would have allowed for the creation of new CSOs and the upkeep of existing ones, a buffer desperately needed as the student population rises and the amount of CSOs increase.

There wouldn’t have been any ambiguity as to where the money from this fee increase was going. With increased funding to CSOs, members could have used the money for excursions, for administrative costs, for advocacy of their issues. It would have been theirs.

Unfortunately, the Activity Fee increase didn’t pass. CSOs will be left to deal with stingy funds, or forced to hold bake sales to sustain their mission. Perhaps when funds run dry, when students feel the sting of decaying organizations, they will decide that it was necessary. After all, there is always next year.