Referendum vote to include potential activity fee increase

Next week, Geneseo will be holding a referendum vote to determine whether student activity fees, which fund and are allocated by the Student Association, will remain mandatory or revert to being voluntary.

"The referendum is a vote to maintain SA fees in order to maintain campus services and events," said senior Doug Sinski, president of the Student Association. "The activity fee enables students to participate in programs and supplement their liberal arts education."

In addition to tuition and other fees, students now pay $85 each semester that goes toward SA-funded programs and services. These include three committees, approximately 40 clubs and organizations and a variety of services and extracurricular events.

The student body is given an opportunity every two years to vote on whether these fees should be mandatory or voluntary.

Students will have to elect to pay fees for SA-funded organizations if the vote does not pass, Sinski said, adding that a significant amount of funding for SA would be lost and that clubs and organizations would face an increased financial burden should the fee become voluntary.

Senior Lexi Schuessler, president of the Musical Theatre Club, described how her organization would suffer should the fee be voted voluntary.

"If the vote did not pass, MTC would have to re-invent itself," said Schuessler. "Without funding [from SA], MTC would have to find crew members and pit members who were willing to give up their time and talent for free. [MTC] would have a difficult time putting together a show without its support."

In addition to voting on whether to make the fee mandatory, students will be asked a second question this year: Would they support a proposed $15 increase per semester to the student activity fee in order to accommodate budgetary constraints?

"The demand for funds is increasing," said senior Meghan Pipe, director of academic affairs and a member of the SA Executive Board. "With the raise we can do more for the students."

"In order to keep pace with students, the increased fee is necessary," Sinski said.

To vote, students can log on to KnightWeb and follow the link to "Answer A Survey." Voting will be open March 8-10.