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Incidental Fee Goes Down, Minds Blown

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.

  1. […] the University institution in 1971, students still pay a ’subscription’ fee through the incidental fee to fund the production and distribution of The […]

  2. Mike hunt says:

    the senate acts like someone who has been taking crack and listening to Tech 9 for 36 hours straight

  3. Sakaki says:

    Michelle: That’s the only good thing Pelosi has going for her. She’s got a good set on her.

    The Senate, well, they’re nothing but a bunch of boobs.

  4. Nancy Pelosi says:

    Please do not drag my name through the mud comparing me to these idiots.

  5. Michelle Haley says:

    You’ve gotta love Pelosi’s consistent bearing of cleavage, though.

  6. The $conomist says:

    In the current economic and geo-political climate, most analysts would conclude that the underlying cause of all the world’s problems is:


  7. Curious says:

    Was Whinetraub the guy who said he wanted the incidental fee to double next year?

  8. Carina says:

    What’s a Senate? Wait, is that where I go to complain about things I don’t understand?

  9. Insider says:

    Tyler, you are a peanut head, here is the list of senators who complained about the changes:


    The Executive caught hell for these changes all year, futher, not one senator helped with these at all! Not one Senator as produced any policy at all this year.

    The senates a mess, why don’t you guys send some sloppy emails out again.

  10. Jackson says:

    Rubbish. The Senate doesn’t do shit. Sam works on things before the meeting, unlike 85% of the Senate. You guys just show up, cast stupidly prepared votes, and cry “diversity!” or “view point neutrality!” when budgets are mentioned.

    Memo to next year’s exec: dissolve the Senate.

  11. Kai Davis says:

    I’m in agreement with everything Sakaki is saying.

  12. Sakaki says:

    Nah. I think Sam deserves every bit of the glory. Senate is on the shit list for not giving CJ the Senate seat.

  13. Tyler S. says:

    It’s really unfortunate Sam wants to talk trash in his press release. The truth is, almost every Senator supported these changes. Maybe 1 or 2 didn’t like them, but we vocally and consistently spoke in favor of them. Many Senators actually helped implement the changes, and have been preparing student groups for what it will be like to not have the Over-Realized funds. For the most part only Carina Miller didn’t like them, but it is no secret she is gonna run for Exec so she is just posturing. I guess what I am trying to say is that Sam shouldn’t get much credit for this, instead he should be ashamed for not giving more credit to others, like Senate, who helped him.

  14. Vincent says:

    Olly: “By the end of it, I almost felt like I did.”

    That genuinely terrifies me.

  15. Jackson says:


    I am spending my extra cash on a fatty cigar in honor of the OC’s smoke-in 2008.

    This i-fee reduction shall be in honor of Athan Papailiou, and other progressive conservatives (oh yea, i mixed the two)!

  16. Olly says:

    Vince: “Oh Aaron Shakra, we hardly knew ye.”

    By the end of it, I almost felt like I did.

    Anyway (speaking as someone long distant from the finances), this is not only excellent but also genuinely surprising. Good for the current Exec, and kudos to all those who helped keep the idea alive/zombified in the meantime. (And, as CJ implicitly suggests, a special tip of the hat to Ted.)

  17. Vincent says:

    Oh Aaron Shakra, we hardly knew ye.

  18. Timothy says:

    It’s nice to see that the ODE continues its proud tradition of hiring functional illiterates to blog for it.

    At least Shakra had humor value.

  19. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Yes, Ted ran for exec on a strong anti-douchebag platform. It was a campaign to remember. He was never a senator.

    Also, he does deserve some of the credit. Ted was one of the most vocal and consistent advocates for fiscal responsibility in recent memory. Most of the big changes that are happening now are a result of the hard work he put in two years ago.

  20. Betz says:

    Tyler: YES.

    I remember Ted running for ASUO exec, at least in the primaries (I want to think his name was on the ballots past the primaries as well), but he was never a senator AFAICT.

  21. Tyler says:

    Am I missing something? When the fuck was Ted a student senator? And where in Ted’s post does he take credit for the incidental fee pay down?

    Is that ODE blog post as factually wrong, or at least misleading, as I think it is?

  22. […] as former ASUO Sen. Ted Niedermeyer points out in the Oregon Commentator, while taking credit for the fee reduction on the publication’s […]

  23. Josh Hall says:

    Now students can see how much money ASUO Programs actually waste. People were crying that the 100 dollars was going back to students, hmmmm, but now they will see the wonderful, drastic cuts in important student programing. I hate to break it to everyone, but there wont be as many conferences in New York, fashion shows for stupid reasons, horrible projects that give nothing back used with the overreealized funds gone. Too bad for us right? NOW I CAN USE THE MONEY TO GET SHITTY DRUNK!!!

  24. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “back in students

  25. wow says:

    Wow, SDK may go down in history as the best ASUO president in history. Certainly he’s going to be the only memorable one for quite a few years, and possibly the only one in decades to do ANYTHING of importance. Go SDK!!!

  26. Kai Davis says:

    Awesome! Great to put some money back in students’ pockets where it belongs.

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