StuGov agenda: Senate to debate support of student activity fee increase


Student Government senate meetings take place every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.

Alex Connor

Student Government will debate a resolution Wednesday evening that would call for the increase of the student activity fee by $4 per year.

The resolution was first debated by the Senate in February as a referendum on the election ballot but decided against that chain of action after some were concerned that students would vote ‘no’ automatically after seeing the word “increase.”

As it has been for several years, the student activity fee portion of that amount is $36.75, of which the funds go toward Student Government to later be allocated by the organization to campus initiatives and student groups. 

Finance Director Steven Valentino said at the February meeting that if a $4 increase were to be approved, it would add approximately $140,000 to the budget. 

The process for getting a student fee increase approved, however, is much more complex than putting it on the ballot as a referendum or to be introduced as a resolution by the Senate. 

If approved in either capacity, a fee increase must also be approved by the Student Fee and Tuition Committee, President Wendy Wintersteen and the Iowa Board of Regents.

The fee increase is being revisited by the Senate because some feel that the additional funding is needed to better support student organizations. 

“There has not been an increase in the Student Activity Fee for many years despite increases in prices due to inflation and increases in need of the expanding base of student organizations,” according to the resolution.

Therefore, it continues, “Student Government has had to cut funding from the student organization’s budgets due to having insufficient funding for the student’s need and will have to cut more at current demand levels.”

Ultimately, in February, the Senate voted 16-11-1, but the referendum was not approved because it did not reach a two-thirds majority.  

On Wednesday, the resolution will see the floor again, as well as a Senate funding act titled: “Senate has spent all of its money.”

“The yearly bill has been slightly busier this year than in years past, and the Senate Discretionary account has been all but effectively drained, despite there being a month left in the session,” the funding act reads. 

The act calls for a transfer of $10,000 to the Senate Discretionary account, in hopes that it will carry the remainder of the session.

Additionally, the Senate will debate several funding bills including:

  • $175 to the Ski and Snowboard Club for transportation to a competition, 
  • $150 to the DIY Craft Club for supplies,
  • $2,766 to the African Students Association to host African Night,
  • and $340 to Advertising Club to visit agencies on a trip.

Other legislation includes an act that would “enable finance committee to operate more efficiently” and an act that would change the bylaws to reflect “the current state of Student Government technology.”

For more information or to contact your senator, visit The meetings are held weekly in the Campanile Room of the Memorial Union.