University of Connecticut students voted down a proposed $3 fee increase for The Daily Campus, the student-run newspaper, by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. But some students said losing the referendum does not rule out the possibility of an increase.
UConn’s Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC) has final authority over all student fee increases, including student activity fees.
Even if students approved the increase, it would require final approval by committee to be implemented.
“A ‘yea’ vote [at the referendum] doesn’t mean they are going to get an increase and a ‘nay’ vote does not mean otherwise,” said Christine Wilson, UConn’s director of student activities and a SFAC member.
Twenty percent of students voted in the election, enough to meet SFAC’s requirement that at least 10 percent of students vote on the referendum question to even be considered for a fee increase.
Members of SFAC say they have not yet discussed whether they will increase The Daily Campus’s fee.
“That’s considered with all the other information, with the student activity fees and the general university fees,” Wilson said.
SFAC likely will discuss student activity fee increases when they meet after Spring Break, according to Jared Ashmore, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) representative to SFAC.
Daily Campus Editor-in-Chief Melanie Deziel, who mounted a campus-wide campaign asking students to vote ‘yes’ at the referendum, said she is disappointed with the results but hopes SFAC will approve an increase.
“Despite the loss in the student vote, we remain hopeful that the SFAC and the Board of Trustees will understand our need and take the many other contributing steps of this process into account when considering whether to approve our request for an increase,” Deziel said.
The Nutmeg Yearbook’s request for a $2-a-semester fee increase also was defeated in the referendum by a margin of 62 to 38 percent. Students approved USG’s request for a $5-per-semester increase 52 to 48 percent.
Students at UConn’s Storrs campus currently pay $7 per semester to support The Daily Campus.