Apr 11, 2006
President Richmond recently announced the approval of a 5 percent increase in fees for students in HSU's residence halls in the coming year. In future years, fees in the residence halls will be linked to the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) in a manner to be determined by consultation with the Associated Students and the Residence Hall Association.
“I very much appreciate the information, advice and concern that students in Associated Students (AS) and on the Residence Hall Association provided to me on the question of increasing fees for students in our residence halls in the coming academic year,” said Richmond. “I understand very well that this decision will not please many HSU students. It does not please me to raise your fees, but our current circumstances provide little other recourse at this time.”
The residence halls are facing increased costs for a range of utilities, including electricity, natural gas, water, storm water, and sewage disposal. They are also required to pay increases in staff salaries of at least 3 percent, as mandated by agreements between the CSU and unions that represent its workers.
“If I had approved the students’ recommendation of a 2.5% increase in residence hall fees, it is likely that necessary equipment repairs would have been delayed or cancelled, maintenance of safety systems such as alarms and sprinkler systems would have been compromised, a very popular bus shuttle service between the residence halls and Eureka would have been cancelled, and the availability of personnel at the residence hall information desk would have been reduced,” Richmond wrote to AS President Nicole Alvarado. He went on to say he feared the construction of new residence hall facilities to accommodate future students would have been significantly compromised.
“Current students have benefited from the largess of past students who helped us to build the residence facilities we have now,” said Richmond. “While current students will not benefit from future residence hall construction, it is my responsibility to ensure that future students enjoy the same benefits offered to current students.”
Richmond also took into consideration that the state’s proposed 8 percent general student fee increase will likely not occur this year, as it is anticipated the legislature and Governor will provide those funds to CSU through direct state appropriations. This would free residents from also paying a fee increase this coming year.
“You (Nicole Alvarado) and your colleagues made a very important suggestion in our meeting that we will implement as quickly as possible,” wrote Richmond. “You suggested that we establish a program to encourage our resident students to conserve energy and perhaps design a fee system to make it advantageous to do so. If such a program is successful, it might enable us to reduce future fee increases below that dictated by increases in the HEPI.”
During the 2008/09 academic year, the university will reconsider the process for the annual increase in fees in consultation with the Student Fee Advisory Committee, the Associated Students and the Residence Hall Association.