This, ladies and gents, is what it’s all about. For generations, the OC has railed against the ever-rising Incidental Fee. For decades, we’ve been the only folks who have given a shit about trying to hold it steady or bring it down. And then Sam Dotters-Katz was elected. For some crazy reason or another, Sam actually agrees that saving students I-Fee money is a worthy cause, and unlike any ASUO president (that I’m aware of) he has actually made the effort cut the Incidental Fee. That’s right, for Spring term, your incidental fee has been cut from $195 to $95. The best part? He also proved that fiscal responsiblity is not code for “racist (or otherwise despicable) defunding of student groups and services.” Rather, Dotters-Katz used the overrealized fund to buy down the fee, saving students $100 for Spring Term and eliminating an irresponsible, unaccountable million dollar (or more) annual giveaway. I’ve never found a record of the fee being cut in this manner before in ASUO history, and the fee for Spring Term will be the lowest it has been in over a decade.
As part of a proud tradition of OC fiscal conservatives, I can’t help feeling immensely proud that our magazine and this website helped carry the torch until this moment. Fighting for fiscal responsibility in the ASUO has always seemed like tilting at windmills, but this confirms that every little bit makes a difference. I’m sure other alumni can speak to how improbable this development sounds. If half the students who came to the UO could bring their idealistic sights down to an attainable goal (like saving every student $100 per term) this campus would be a better place. Congratulations to Sam for keeping his commitment to this goal, despite the many distractions and temptations to just do ASUO business as usual. This is a historic achievement! Hit the jump for Dotters-Katz’s press release.
ASUO Executive to Give Every Student $100 Spring Term
EUGENE, Ore.— The University of Oregon’s incidental fee, paid by all students each term to fund student programs and services, will be reduced from $195 to $95 per student for Spring Term, making it the lowest such fee in well over a decade.
The Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO) Executive will use the over-realized fund to buy down the incidental fee while sustaining more programs and services than have ever been offered to university students.
“I have been fighting all year to make sure we are putting our extra funds back in the pockets of students,” said ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz, who has been working on this issue since the beginning of Fall Term. “Fiscal responsibility does not mean slashing budgets. It means using the money we already have transparently and responsibly.”
Spring Term’s estimated over-realized fund has been accounted for with a comfortable cushion to ensure that budget obligations will be met, and so that some extra funds will be left over for student groups and programs. Also, funds will first be allocated to cover the cost of administrative assessments that would otherwise be charged, for the first time ever, to each student group and program.
This initiative addresses the rising costs of living and tuition for students, as well as a worsening economic recession. Students will receive more services for less money than in previous years, illuminating the ASUO’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Not everyone in the student government supported Dotters-Katz’s plan, especially the ASUO Student Senate. During the senate meeting that Dotters-Katz outlined his plan, some senators went so far as to call for a resolution denouncing the President and the buy-down plan.
“I am confident that the entire ASUO, whether in favor of giving the money back to students or not, can agree that we are making great strides to increase the access and affordiability of higher education,” said Dotters-Katz.
The buy-down will apply to undergraduates, graduate students, and Law students as well.