In a recent Senate meeting, the Student Government Association voted 13-1 to approve a student fee that would go toward renovation or construction of a new GSU library.The passage of the library bill will allow the SGA to seek approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors to put the measure on the ballot for the fall 2010 election.
The bill was written by SGA President Steven Jackson and sponsored and introduced to the SGA Senate by senators Cameron Butler and Solange Sayers.
“We really want to take students into consideration of our ultimate goal, which is to secure funds for improving the library without having to raise student fees substantially,” Sayers said.
The details of the bill state that the university will assess full-time students a fee of $15 per semester and part-time students a fee of $7 per semester.
The decision of the ULS Boards of Supervisors should be made by the end of this month.
“We, the SGA Senate, tried to look at it from every angle in trying to redirect student fees from different areas so that students weren’t going to receive an increase on student fees, which is not our intention,” Butler said.
In order to redirect student fees, the SGA suggested that they seek other student referendums such as a housing programming fee, which Jackson said could be funded out of the Student Activities’ estimated $300,000 budget. This idea was tabled until the Senate meets again.
Another proposed bill would have reduced the Student Technology Fee from $5 per credit hour to $3 per credit hour, shaving $24 off each full-time student’s technology fees. This bill failed by a 5-7-2 vote.
Chief of Staff Jenita Blue noted that getting the library bill on the ballot is the first step of a thousand-mile journey.
Blue pointed out that to finance a portion of the project, the university is seeking to utilize a federal entitlement program known as the HBCU Capital Finance Program. The program was put in place to provide low-cost federal finance options to improve the infrastructure for HBCUs.
The university is in the initial phase of the application process, assisted by Will Fischer, a financial adviser with Rice Financial. Fisher, the SGA and senior university administrators will begin the preliminary application process on March 30.