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The Daily Tar Heel

Student fee subcommittee evaluates possible new fees

In its second meeting of the academic year Friday, the student fee advisory subcommittee approved its first fee increase and tabled another.

The subcommittee, composed of students and administrators, discussed each potential fee increase before voting on it.

“The detail is in the purpose (of the fee),” said Student Body Treasurer Zach Dexter, co-chairman of the subcommittee. “That is what the students are interested in and that is what we want to know.”

The group unanimously approved a $1.13 increase to the incoming student fee, bringing the total to $50.13. New students pay the one-time fee when they join the University.

The fee increase would be used to implement programs that support transfer students, among other uses.

April Mann, director of new student and parent programs, said the retention rate of transfer students is not as high as freshmen.

She said without a fee increase, the department would be about $10,000 short of what is needed to continue current student programs.

Money from this fee also supports programs such as the summer reading program and Week of Welcome activities, Mann said.

“I think it is within reason,” said Student Body President Mary Cooper, a committee member, about the $1.13 increase.

The subcommittee also discussed a $4 increase in a nonrecurring programming fee that incoming graduate students pay, which would bring the total fee to $52.50.

Steve Matson, dean of the graduate school, said the fee would support an annual orientation for graduate students, a research ethics class and professional development activities, such as dissertation “boot camps.”

The subcommittee tabled the bill due to doubts from members about whether student fees can be used for a research ethics class that can be taken for credit hours.

Costs for faculty members who would teach the class cannot be covered through student fees, members of the subcommittee said.

The subcommittee is applying stricter standards to its approval of fees this year, sending unfamiliar requests to an all-student committee, the student fee audit committee.

Dwayne Pinkney, associate provost for finance and academic planning and co-chairman of the subcommittee, said the subcommittee will discuss approximately 16 fees in six weeks.

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