Student Life Council Discusses Increase in Student Fees


The Student Life Council (SLC) meeting focused on United Student Government’s (USG) proposal for a referendum to increase the current Student Activities Fee. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Members of the Fordham community gathered on March 8 in the monthly Student Life Council (SLC) meeting to discuss issues within the Fordham community. Representatives from various student organizations, academic institutions and university administration were present.

The meeting focused on United Student Government’s (USG) proposal for a referendum to increase the current Student Activities Fee, which is currently $135. The fee, which every student pays, provides funding for clubs and the Office of Student Involvement (OSI). The referendum would increase that fee by $95 per student. Representatives from USG claimed that clubs are requesting more and more money each year, and the USG budget committee does not receive enough funds to satisfy everyone.

According to the presentation in the SLC, in the past budget period, clubs requested $921,000. After taking out money reserved for block-funded clubs and the Campus Activities Board (CAB), there was only $519,000 left to distribute.

The representatives stated that the increased money needed for clubs comes from inflation, an increased number of clubs and that clubs are using more of their allocated funds.

The representatives also addressed common concerns from students about the increased price. Some people have raised the concern that not all students are involved in clubs. USG said that they encourage students to join clubs but even students who are not directly involved in clubs still benefit from things like Spring Weekend or club tabling events.

Executive President of USG Santiago Vidal, FCRH ’24, stated that there was a tabling event earlier in the week to inform students about the referendum. Vidal said that the USG representative at the table did not hear any complaints from students about the increase.

Next, the meeting followed up on concerns about the chaperone and excused absence policy for clubs that must travel. A representative from OSI stated that there had been no change to the chaperone policy.

Dean of Students Christopher Rodgers said that whether or not a club trip needs a chaperone depends on where they are traveling to and how many students are attending. Patricio Meneses, interim associate dean for student support and academic initiatives, said the excused absence policy is currently under review.

Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life Charles Clency shared intoxication reports this month. He said that the amount of intoxication cases was lower than in previous years and that the Office of Residential Life is starting to see a downward trend in alcohol usage.

The Commuter Student Association (CSA) shared that they had been in discussions with academic deans about registration times. They shared that registration for the fall 2023 semester will start at 8 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. to facilitate commuter student schedules better.

Vidal announced that USG elections would take place on May 1-2, and that they are currently in the process of reviewing the election code. He also stated that this year’s government recorded a higher amount of proposals and statements than any year before.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs said they had been celebrating Women’s “Herstory” Month and were continuing the process of encouraging students to come up to their new suite.

The Gabelli School of Business announced that they hosted a small business pop-up in Hughes Hall. The representative mentioned that the Gabelli Dean’s Council was heavily involved in the pop-up.

A representative from OSI stated that President Tania Tetlow met with cultural clubs about diversity, equity and inclusion. OSI also announced senior week ticket sales start the week after spring break.

A representative from the Resident Assistants talked about the ongoing Fordham Resident Assistants Union (FRA), stating that there seem to be people on both sides of the issue. The representative added that people generally feel good about their assignments for the 2023-24 school year.

Rodgers announced that the university is currently deciding whether or not to continue with the New York Times subscription program.

He also said that the episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” shot on Fordham’s campus earlier this year will premiere in April.

University officials encourage students to attend the monthly SLC meetings to have their voice heard on a variety of university issues and topics and to hear from university organizations.