Increasing or reallocating? About NMU’s student activity fee


MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University’s Student Activity Fee has been under hot debate on campus due to the impending referendum that may change its cost.

The Associated Students of NMU are proposing a $13.88 increase in the fee to bring it to an even $51 per semester.

The current fee is $37.12 per semester, which is significantly lower than surrounding colleges. Michigan Technological University’s is $60 per semester and Lake Superior State University’s is $80.

The fee goes toward all things organized by students for students. Most notably, it has funded concerts, speakers and homecoming activities. Without this fee, it wouldn’t be possible to get speakers like John Green or bands like Hippo Campus to come to NMU.

ASNMU President Gwen Feamster said the fee also pays for the following: free movies on campus, free period products in campus bathrooms, bike rentals and student newspaper wages.

“Yes, we acknowledge that (the fee being raised) sucks,” she said, “but student organizations aren’t going to be able to function if it’s not raised.”

According to Gavin Leach, vice president of Finance and Administration at NMU, tuition and fees can only be raised by a certain percentage in one year meaning universities need to budget around a specific pool of money. Leach said this concept is likely why people are calling it a “reallocation.”

Feamster argues that if tuition is going to be raised anyway, it’s in the students’ best interest to ensure a portion of that money is dedicated to tangible events students can benefit from.

“If they’re going to raise your tuition, then you may as well choose where that money goes and vote ‘yes’ to actually see it,” Feamster said.

Voting will take place via email from 8 a.m. on April 10 until 5 p.m. on April 12.

Other items on the referendum will include ASNMU governing body seats and representatives.


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