EC proposes raising activity fee

Committee may raise activity fee by $10 to adjust for inflation, provide additional funds to student organizations


Shaun Soman

Ethan Kipnes, director of Public Safety, addresses the EC at its Sept. 28 meeting.

Kylee Sapp

Washington and Lee’s Executive Committee has proposed raising the student activity fee $10 for the 2016-2017 school year.

Although the difference in cost to individual students will be small, the EC expects the difference in overall funding to be around $22,000.

“We hope it will allow us to fund things we weren’t able to fund,” EC President Mason Grist, ‘18, said.

There was around a $300,000 deficit in funding this year that was cut from student organizations.

“We had to cut from a lot of great organizations like Nabors Service League and LIFE,” Sophomore Class Representative Caroline Bones, ’18, said.

Grist said that all student organizations faced cuts this year, although none were so drastic that the clubs could not continue, they just had to find other sources for the rest of the money.  The EC took a little bit from everyone.

At the EC meeting on Sept. 28, EC Vice President Wilson Miller said the EC faced significant budget problems this year.  Raising the activity fee will help alleviate this problem.

“The fact is that this fee has not been indexed to inflation in a long time,” Bones said.  “Also enrollment is down, dramatically so in the law school, while we have the same great organizations on campus doing the same events that cost about the same amount of money.”

Bones used the Mock Convention as an example to explain this.  No matter what the undergraduate enrollment is, Mock Con will always cost the same amount of money to run.

In order to raise the fee, a member of the EC has to first propose it to the EC and to the board, and a notice has to be sent out to students for at least 72 hours.  The EC sent the notice out to students on both the undergraduate campus and the law school last week.

Although they planned to vote on the issue at their meeting last Monday, a law school representative raised the concern that the notice sent to law students was not as accessible as the EC thought it would be.  The EC delayed their vote and resent the notice.

If the EC votes yes, it will raise the total activity fee from $407 to $417 per student. The EC will receive $255 of the fee.

The activity fee has only been raised once or twice in the last few years, Grist said.

Bones addressed the concern that raising the fee would make tuition more expensive.

“I get it, W&L is an expensive school,” she said. “We should do our best to keep costs down at every turn.  However the current activities fee is just not allowing student organizations to do all that they can do.”

The EC will vote in favor of or against the increase in its meeting Oct. 5.

“I would have voted no if I hadn’t been up until 2 a.m. two nights in a row during spring term, agonizing over where to cut funding with the rest of the EC,” Bones said.

Bones said she expects the EC to vote in favor of the increase.