Student affairs committee approves activity, wellness fee increases

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Student affairs committee approves activity, wellness fee increases

The Pitt student activity fee will increase for the first time in 15 years.

The Pitt student activity fee will increase for the first time in 15 years.

Image via University of Pittsburgh

The Pitt student activity fee will increase for the first time in 15 years.

Image via University of Pittsburgh

Image via University of Pittsburgh

The Pitt student activity fee will increase for the first time in 15 years.

By Vaibhav Gupta, Staff Writer

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After deliberating for about five minutes in a Posvar Hall conference room, the Student Affairs Committee of Pitt’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to increase mandatory student fees for activities and wellness.

The fee increases, which go into effect this fall, come as a result of lobbying from student groups.

The increase, the first in nearly 15 years, will pay for expanded programming for the Office of Pitt Services. The bump will also benefit The Pitt News. Full-time undergraduate students will now pay $100 per semester, a $20 increase, while part-time students will pay $30, a $6 increase.

Janine Faust, the editor-in-chief of The Pitt News and a rising senior English writing major, said that the student newspaper requested to become a formula group and receive money through the student activity fee due to a shortfall in advertising revenue in recent years. The Pitt News has not received student activity fee funding since 1987.

“The main reason that we are getting money is to make up for the funds that have been lost from advertising,” Faust said. “We are trying to make up for the last decade. We have some catching up to do.”  

Similarly to the activity fee, a bump in the wellness fee will pay for additional student services.

The wellness fee is used to promote student health through a variety of programs offered through the University Student Health Service, the Office of Campus Recreation and the University Counseling Center. The committee approved an increase of $50 for full-time students, who will now pay $180, and a bump of $25 for part-time students, who will now pay $90.

Specifically, the fee increase will allow for hiring additional counselors, providing counselors in residence halls, expanding existing collegiate recovery programs and offering financial literacy programs through the Office of Financial Aid.

Jay Darr, director of the UCC, said that the increased funding will help the center to “meet a need to enhance our mental health services.”

Students will face another wellness fee hike in the 2020-21 academic year, with full-time students paying $230 per semester and part-time students paying $115 per semester.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the Pitt Program Council and WPTS Radio were among the organizations receiving more funding from the university as a result of the higher student activities fee. This statement is incorrect. The Pitt News regrets this error. 

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