Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Tuition increase proposed; SGA finalizes budgets and funding for upcoming semester

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Graphic by Ally Bruemmer

With the Spring 2021 semester coming to a close, SGA is working to finalize organizational systems, budgets and funding for the following fall semester.

The SGA meeting opened with guests Vice President for Finance and Administration Brad Sheriff and Assistant Vice President for Financial Services Sue Wilde. Sheriff said recommendations for next year’s tuition could include a larger increase than recently seen.

“There’s an online fee, but there’s not a fee if it’s a blended class … These fees are arguably already losing their relevance,” Sheriff explained.

The pandemic has rendered the extra course instruction fees of web, webinar, ITV and off-campus options irrelevant, according to Sheriff.

In lieu of this, the budget review process, represented by faculty, staff and students through SGA, proposed the modalities fees be eliminated. This would remove approximately $1.1 million in revenue for the university.

In turn, it was suggested by the members of the budget review process the tuition be increased by $6.25 per credit hour as a revenue replacement of the modality fees.

“This year, it is 75% plus of you [students] that are paying these fees, and on average you are paying $190 each for these fees. We really see this going nowhere but up,” Sheriff said.

Sheriff then explained the proposed increase in tuition would amount to approximately $187.50 extra for a full-time student as opposed to 75% of students who pay $190 or more for modality fees.

Regular senate business included the issue of the expiration of the current contract of the Student Engagement Management System (SEMS). The SELink Evaluation Committee proposed an overall operating budget of $105,000 toward a three-year contract for a new SEMS. The budget is not to exceed $35,000 per year, and it was passed by the SGA senate.

SGA passed a resolution to hire a graduate assistant for a two-year term.

“The graduate assistant would be student government-funded but working in the Campus Life and Events office, and their sole responsibility would be overseeing what new company we would go with [for the new SEMS],” said Sophie Machen, member of the SELink Evaluation Committee.

Other budget business included funding for the WINGS shuttle and club sports. Each will receive equal funding provided in the current fiscal year.

All minutes and agendas for senate meetings can be found on the SGA webpage. The Arrow livestreams the weekly SGA meetings on Mondays starting at 8 p.m on Facebook Live.