USG Discusses Increase in Student Activity Fees


The Fordham Rose Hill United Student Government (USG) has been discussing the possibility of increasing the student activity fees. (Courtesy of Twitter)

In the past couple of weeks, the Fordham Rose Hill United Student Government (USG) has been discussing the possibility of increasing the student activity fees. For this increase to be put into action, a referendum must be sent out to the student body and at least 15% of the community needs to say yes in a simple majority from the students surveyed.

Executive President of USG Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’24, Vice President of Finance and Budget of USG Eron Maltzman, FCRH ’25, and Vice Chair of Finance and Budget of USG Lucas Hjertberg, FCRH ’26, shared their thoughts and reasoning behind the increase.

Vidal explained that the activity fees are the only fees that can be increased solely with a vote from the student body. This referendum is started by USG because USG is the sole organizer and manager of all of the funds from the activity fees.

“Just to put it into context, we have every year around $1.2 million of activity fees of which 30% of those funds is allocated to the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) for things like spring weekend or senior week events or orientation, $100,000 goes to the Campus Activities Board (CAB) to organize all of the events that they do throughout the year and the rest is distributed between block funded clubs and event funded clubs,” said Vidal.

Hjertberg explained that due to inflation and the large number of new clubs that have been created over the past few years, they need to raise their budget by increasing activity fees to account for those changes.

Maltzman also stated that, overall, the amount of money that clubs are requesting is much greater than the amount of money that the budget committee is able to currently allocate.

Vidal stated that club membership has increased about 37% over the last four years from data of the operations packets. That increase requires a change in the budget. Vidal explained that university clubs requested a total of $800,000 from the budget committee but USG only had $500,000 available and a big part of it already goes to club sports and block funded clubs, making the pool of available funds even less.

Both Maltzman and Hjertberg reiterated the fact that clubs have not been able to receive the money that they have been requesting properly due to lack of available funds. They explained that during the 2022 Budget Day where clubs were receiving their allocated budget, the committee realized that they did not have enough money to give to every club so they decided to give every club an equal $5,000 budget. Maltzman stated that clubs were rightfully upset with the small budget that they received but that the activity fees referendum will fix this budget issue.

Vidal explained that the increase will benefit the student body because of the greater funds that will be available to clubs, the increase in the amount of rollover that clubs will have every year and it will greatly benefit CAB and events like orientation or senior week.

He also said that he hopes the activity fees increase will help clubs that are competing at national levels like Model UN, Debate, Mock Trial, club sports, etc. be able to compete without any constraints.

“Our main goal is to close the gap between the amount of clubs that are requesting very good appeals without any type of issues and the lack of funding that we have to allocate to every single budget request that we are getting. That is the main goal. To close that gap. Once we close that gap, everything else comes as a consequence,” explained Vidal.

Hjertberg and Maltzman both encourage students who are not currently in any clubs to join. They said that clubs are a great way for building relationships and to contribute to the Fordham community.

They explained that the entire USG board seems to be on board with the increase and they hope that the student body will also see the need for the increase.

Sophia Bere, FCRH ’26, gave her opinion on the possible increase. “I think it’s a bit unfair for people who are not in clubs to have to pay for it but they also have the choice to be in clubs too.” She explained that she is sure that the increase would help the clubs but there is also the matter of people who are not in clubs also having to pay the increase.

Model UN President Alex Yankovsky, FCRH ’24, said that he is completely in favor of the activity fees referendum and increase. Yankovsky said that, as a club leader, he wants to be able to provide as many opportunities to club members as possible but, with the current budget that clubs receive, he feels that he is unable to do that.

He explained that he has not been able to bring all of his club members to events because they have not had the funding.

“Fordham should strive to increase opportunities every year,” Yankovsky said.
He said he feels that an increase in activity fees will bring more opportunities to the Fordham community.