Mandatory Student Fees
The UHR began its meeting on Tuesday with a presentation about Tech’s mandatory student fees. These fees are charged to all students every semester and help fund transportation, student health and technology, among other things. They also include the Student Activity Fee that Student Government uses to fund the CRC, the Student Center, and student organizations. Last semester, mandatory fees totaled $1,185 per student.
An advisory committee composed of eight students and four faculty members will meet this week to discuss proposed increases to the mandatory fees. Last year, the committee approved increases totaling $12 in order to improve services from Parking & Transportation, Health and Athletics.
Woodruff Arts Center
The bill drawing the most discussion on Tuesday was intended to fund transportation to the GT Night at the Woodruff Arts Center. The event is a joint collaboration between the Student Government and the Office of Student Affairs.
Although bills funding transportation are normally prohibited by Joint Finance Committee Policy, SGA has waived policy for this and similar events in the past with little debate, citing the large student impact when defending the waiving of policy.
Graduate Senators passed the bill 16-0-0, unamended and with little debate.
Undergraduate representatives took issue with the line items going against JFC policy, however. Representatives proposed moving the offending portions of the bill to the Graduate and Undergraudate Legislative Reserves, accounts not governed by JFC policy.
Junior Class Rep. Hunter Hammond explained the reasoning behind the vote:
“The majority of the House of Representatives agrees that SGA needs to focus on finding a long term solution to the Night at Woodruff,” he said. “We also want to show that we are not above our own policy in regards to funding.”
Members of the Executive Branch took issue with the use of ULR funds, claiming that use of the funds to fund this event is inappropriate.
Representatives chose to overwhelmingly approve the shift, however, voting 39-3-1 to pass the bill.
The bill will go to a conference committee between UHR and GSS and come up for a final vote next week.
A bill funding Tech’s gas-electric hybrid racing team was postponed on Tuesday due to concerns over an $11,000 fund left over from a previous racing team.