Student fee increases slated for fall

Ethan Metcalf

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Jesse Rogers, president of Midwestern State, answers Marco Torres', senior class senator, question about future parking plans for fall of next year during the Student Government Association meeting on February 3, where close to 70 students were in attendance. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Jesse Rogers, president of Midwestern State, answers Marco Torres’, senior class senator, question about future parking plans for fall of next year during the Student Government Association meeting on February 3, where close to 70 students were in attendance. Photo by Rachel Johnson

University President Jesse Rogers spoke about increasing student fees next fall to about 70 students at the first Student Government Association meeting of the spring Tuesday night in CSC Comanche Suites.

Rogers said because the new residence hall slated to go up in the parking lots between the Fain Fine Arts building and McCullough-Trigg Hall will displace some parking, additional spots will be needed.

But Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said remote, off-campus parking will supplement that lost parking at least until the residence hall is finished.

“Next year we think we will have a handle on parking with the remote commuter and faculty parking with a shuttle to campus,” Lamb said. “The problem is in 2016 when we open that residence hall and we introduce 400 more resident parking spaces.”

Rogers said once the residence hall is completed, additional resident parking will be needed for the 400 new residents who will occupy the dorm, and the best place to build that is where the soccer field is now.

“It won’t be too long after [the residence hall is completed] that we’re going to have to get started on basically parking and soccer because they interfere with each other. The closest reasonable parking place is where the soccer field is now,” Rogers said. “So in order to have parking available for the move in of the dorm in 2016, we’re going to need to start on it—and I don’t know the starting date, but it will probably be this fall.”

Rogers said the next step is to replace the old field with new soccer and recreational sports fields with artificial turf, and a $6 semester credit hour fee increase would cover the costs of the parking and the fields.

Rogers said replacing the old grass fields with artificial turf would save the university money, but also increase their longevity in drought-stricken Wichita Falls.

“We would be foolish to ignore [the drought],” Rogers said. “We need more fields made of artificial turf. A lot of schools I know are moving to artificial turf and we need to do it, too.”

Rebecca Stogner, political science senior and SGA president, said she and the other SGA executive officers support the fee increase because it will allow for more student activities by adding a turf field for non-athletics students at a reasonable price.

“When Midwestern is so cheap anyway and tuition prices are so reasonable, another $80 [per semester] is probably not the end of the world for anyone, and if it is then there’s ways that we can get around it,” Stogner said. “Part of why we’re going about it the way we do is sometimes financial aid can cover it.”

Lamb said the $6-per-hour increase, or about $80 more per semester for full-time students, is an estimate at this point, and the final proposal will be brought before the Board of Regents in May.

“We need to see what funding is like after the legislative session to know if we can build a parking garage.

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