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From the Archives: Buddy, can you spare a buck

The Gateway revisits an article from 1980 when the SU also created a fee to fund its capital plan

It seems like some things at the University of Alberta and its Students’ Union never change.

With tuition set to increase in the upcoming academic year, and a new Students’ Union referendum asking if full-time students approve of paying $25 a semester to contribute to a capital and sustainability plan for the Students’ Union Building (SUB) happening during executive elections, The Gateway revisited its archives to re-live a time when similar circumstances occurred.

A News Section article written on September 3, 1980 recapped how the Students’ Union raised its membership fee in 1980 to also create a new capital fund when tuition also increased in the same year.

By: The Gateway 1980-81 News Section

Tuition fees aren’t the only thing going up.

The Students’ Union has joined the trend and raised its own fees one dollar this fall, to $37 for full-time students.

The hike will net the Students’ Union about $18,000.

Students’ Union President Nolan Astley says the move was necessary both to increase club and faculty association grants and to establish a SUB capital fund.

“We simply didn’t have enough money to make acceptable grants to clubs and associations without the fee hike,” Astley says.

[Students’] Council has added about $9,000 to the grant budgets, making a total of about $46,000 available this year.

The capital fund is also desperately needed, according to Astley. There is not money set aside for renovations or expansions to SUB and money will be needed over the next few years for replacement of carpeting and reupholstering of theatre seats.

However, the $9,000 earmarked from the new building fund may not stay there long. Students’ Council can decide by a two-thirds majority to empty it. Astley says he is optimistic, though, that it will not be plundered as a similar fund was in 1972.

In 1970, students voted 85 per cent in favour of increasing Students’ Union fees by $3.00 to finance SUB expansion. However, in 1972 Council raided the expansion fund to finance the construction of HUB. Since then the surcharge has been collected but not placed in the expansion fund.

The fee hike comes on the heels of last spring’s defeated fee referendum.

After students voted down the proposed $7.50 increase, council faced a choice between a one dollar increase and nothing. One dollar is the maximum increase allowed without a referendum under the Students’ Union constitution.

The Gateway

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