Vice chancellor for Student Affairs discusses making student fees nonrefundable

_Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article, the headline stated ISS would consider making student fees nonrefundable. However, ISS will not vote on such an issue unless it is brought up through its own channels. Vice chancellor of student affairs Renee Romano presented her resolution to the ISS for information._

The main issue discussed at Wednesday’s meeting of Illinois Student Senate, or ISS, was making the student fees nonrefundable to reduce the overall student fees.

Renee Romano, Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs, came to speak about the student fees. She said making the students fees refundable has made it difficult for the University to handle because they spend a lot of time attending to students complaints regarding the fees.

About 10 to 15 percent of students are getting refunds currently, Romano said.

The Student Organization Resource Fee, the Study Abroad Group, Krannert Center and Cultural Programming are among some of the fees that can be refunded. Romano said these organizations can’t depend on the refundable fees because they can’t always predict how much funds to allocate for the refunds; therefore, the organization’s fees are actually decreasing as a result.

Students could also take advantage of the refund by taking it and attending an event that is held by the organization where the student asked for a refund from, Romano said.

Romano said the current amount of the fees from the organizations are $69 dollars for undergraduates and $64 for graduate students. If the refunds could be taken away, it could be lowered to $60 dollars for undergraduates and $55 for graduate students, she added.

“If everyone pays, (the fees) will be lower,” Romano said.

Senator Kaitlyn Hastings, law student, said some her constituents are on verge of starting their own families and wouldn’t benefit from getting rid of the refundable fees.

“Sixty bucks to a family is a really big deal for that semester,” Hastings said. “You can bet they’re not the ones that are going to go use Krannert because they don’t have any extra money.”

The ISS also addressed the resolution of the removal of senators because of their absence from the first four meetings of ISS. The senators voted on the removal of the absentee senators individually.

The last item for action was the ISS’s involvement in co-sponsoring the LGBT Safety Event taking place in November. ISS will be helping with event promotions and offering space for the event, said David Pileski, student body president.

The concern among senators was the level of involvement and participation the ISS will have on the event. On the other hand, Senator Helen Celewicz, senior in LAS, didn’t see why there was hesitance in co-sponsoring the safety event, especially because many students are unaware of ISS’s presence on campus.

“If we co-sponsor events with other big organizations on campus, they (students) will come,” Celewicz said. “This is a first step, and I’m voting in favor of this. I think this is phenomenal idea.”

ISS voted in favor of co-sponsoring the event.