Why I voted ‘no’

I saw looks of disbelief and even hostility as I walked into the Men’s Gym on Wednesday to vote in the Special Election. It seems as if my Facebook event, asking students to vote “no” on a proposed student fee hike struck some chords.Tuition has been increasing semester by semester at GSU. The proposed $22 increase to help fund the new Union would allow for improvements such as an Internet cafe, four large meeting rooms, flat screen televisions and more to be added.Looking at the fees we already in place, I have a problem with an extra one being tacked on. According to a document that shows the fees as of Feb. 4, 2005, students pay four board-assessed fees, seven university-assessed fees, and 18 student self-assessed fees.Now, out of these 29 fees, there is a fee called the technology fee. This fee is used to improve the technology of the university, which includes purchasing computers. This fee is $60 for students who take at least 12 hours.I’m estimating that there are at least 4,000 students with 12 credit hours. After calculating, that gives the university $240,000. A quarter of this, $60,000, is enough for 120 Dell-priced computers!Why try to make us pay for computers that there is already money for? That’s like paying for bootleg cable; it makes no sense!There is also a fee called the Centennial Campaign. This was established in Fall 2000 to help pay for the projects that are going on right now. This fee ended last fall, a total of 10 semesters (excluding summer sessions). The fee was set at $12.50.In between fall 2000 and fall 2005, there were at least 4,000 students here at GSU. Since every student had to pay that fee, it adds up to $50,000 for one semester. In 10 semesters, that gives the university $500,000 for that time period.Because students are supposed to be able to vote on where that money goes, I vote that the money help pay for the new Union. We might as well use it for that cause. Oh wait … I forgot. The money was already used without the students’ consent, according to an SGA official. So much for that effort.There is also a fee labeled the academic excellence fee. It was established to give faculty members raises, which I believe that most deserve because of their hard work. However, I doubt all that money goes to raises.This fee is $120 for students with at least 12 credit hours. If there are 4,000 students with 12 credit hours, that gives almost half a million dollars that the university could have. Let’s use whatever is left of that to put toward the new Union.I like the fact that they are building a new Union to make the campus look better. But I don’t think that students should have to be subjected to an even higher increase in fees. Point blank: There are enough fees to cover what the $22 referendum asks for.That’s why I voted “no.”Darryl Smith is a senior mass communication major from Monroe.