University of Missouri

46-22: A Recommendation in Opposition to a Proposed Fee Increase for the Student Health Center

Whereas, The Student Health Center has proposed a fee increase of $7.27 per semester, over and above the inflationary increase of $3.00 per semester that it is already receiving, and

Whereas, This fee increase is primarily to add psychiatric staff, to increase current salaries, and to reduce debt already incurred by the Student Health Center, and

Whereas, Due to its magnitude, such an increase, if it were approved by the Student Fee Review Committee, would trigger a mandatory referendum among the entire student population, as required by this committee’s bylaws, and

Whereas, Despite requests for any proposed fee increases in September of 2006, this number was not supplied to the Student Fee Review Committee until November of 2006, at the very end of the process for considering student fee increases and at a juncture too late to feasibly conduct such a referendum in a timely manner, and

Whereas, The destination of the proceeds of the proposed fee increase have not been adequately documented in any proposal so far submitted to this committee, and

Whereas, The proposed increase not only constitutes a substantial burden on the student population, but repeated increases by the Student Health Center of a similar magnitude have been anticipated while remaining unaccounted for in future planning, and

Whereas, The Student Health Center currently provides services above and beyond the norms of the industry and other Big 12 schools, including mental health services and the waiver of lab fees, and

Whereas, The Student Health Center is not without options other than increasing student fees to raise revenue or reduce costs, including but not limited to implementing lab fees, coordinating its mental health services in greater detail with the University Counseling Center, and exploring other menial fees of those who actually use its services, and

Whereas, Despite repeated entreaties from various quarters to examine other methods of increasing revenue or reducing costs, there is no evidence of a genuine effort by the Student Health Center to defray costs on the general student population by exploring even those options that have been proposed as alternatives, and

Whereas, Such an increase would set a dangerous precedent that student fees are an easy source of money from which groups within the University can, without documentation or accountability, acquire new funds for projects that have not been demonstrated as truly necessary.

Therefore, For the aforementioned reasons, the Student Fee Review Committee opposes an increase of $7.27 per semester for the Student Health Center, and

Therefore, We strongly recommend that if the student health center continues to feel the increase is necessary, that they consider the instatement of lab fees or other options to acquire the necessary costs and

Therefore, We recommend that if an increase is deemed necessary that it be based on a thorough demonstration of necessity, and that it be several orders of magnitude less than the proposed increase.

Therefore, We recommend that the Student Health Center communicate with students to ensure that the services they provide are what the student body wants.

Execution: Upon passage this bill will be sent to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Provost, and the Board of Curators on behalf of the students of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Respectfully Submitted,

The Student Fee Review Committee

Al Ludwig Chelsea Johnson Jonathan Mays Robb Loran
SFRC Vice Chair SFRC Vice Chair Operations Chair SFRC