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Activity fee ridiculous, unfair

By Wildcat Opinions Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
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ASUA Sen. Sara Birnbaum has proposed a $30 "activity fee" from every UA student to fund on-campus events. Even $3 is ridiculous.

There are nearly 40,000 students enrolled at the UA. A $30 fee would mean nearly $1.2 million to fund these events, which, says Birnbaum, would be used to keep students on campus, safe from the supposed dangers of off-campus parties.

There are two major flaws with the plan. The first and most obvious is the money it would solicit. Birnbaum said the cost of putting on UA Latenight, an on-campus event that took place on Dec. 10, was $3,000.

Just how many events does ASUA plan on sponsoring in the next year?

If each on-campus event costs an average of $3,000, this fee would provide for 400 similar events for the 2004-2005 school year. That seems slightly excessive.

The second problem with the plan is the further raiding of students' (and their parents') pockets. This year's significant tuition increase may have been necessary. Even the increased costs for parking can be argued as viable. But with all these hikes, additional fees such as the one proposed need to be cautiously weighed and their value carefully considered before they are implemented.

The fee would require all students, even those who don't attend such activities, to pay for entertainment for the whole campus. It would be equivalent to asking all students to pay a $300 transportation fee, even if they ride their bikes or walk to school. Such an idea is silly, and so is this plan.

Some may argue that this fee is similar to the $25 student recreation fee. The difference is that the recreation fee is necessary in order to pay off the recreation center's construction. This proposed activity fee, well-intentioned as it may be, is extreme and unnecessary. And as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If this plan is to be pushed through, it will need a better justification.

If students would like to participate in future on-campus events such as UA Latenight, they should be willing to pay their own way. It's unfair to ask students who won't be attending these events to fork over the dough, especially in a time when economic waters remain murky.

Students attend parties where the circumstance is "bring your own" whatever. On-campus activities should be no different. Let the students who are interested - not the entire student body - pay for their own non-subsidized entertainment.

OOpinions Board
Staff editorials are the collaborative stance of the Wildcat Opinions Board. Its members are Shane Dale, Caitlin Hall, Saul Loeb, Jason Poreda, Justin St. Germain and Eliza Tebo.

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