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Mandatory Fees Lead to Potential Political Abuse? Gasp!

This is a bit old but still pretty awesome. A professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison wrote an essay over at Minding the Campus about the nature of mandatory fees. He outlines some of the criticisms and problems with mandatory fees – violation of conscience, using the money for overt political action, potential for excess and corruption. He concludes:

As I stressed above, I know of no evidence that indicates such abuse of mandatory fees. Empirical inquiry is called for to ascertain what is actually going on in the trenches of student organization politics. And more formal supervision is needed to ensure that such abuse does not occur. Such supervision is needed because, as I remark above, political motivation is intense, and where large amounts of money exist to be spent, temptation is often just around the corner. Perhaps the best solution would be to to make fees supporting student expressive groups voluntary rather than mandatory. But few institutions have the gumption to consider this principled alternative that would remedy both the lingering compelled association problem and the problem of potential political abuse.

I have a post up at the CAMPUS Magazine Online blog about the essay. Read it.

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