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Student Government Association introduces a new segregated fee

April 15, 2021

The Student Government Association (SGA)  at the UW-River Falls is planning to institute a new segregated fee for a Green Fund starting in the fall of 2021. 

This segregated fee, which will be allocable, meaning that the funds would be supporting mainly student-organized activities, was passed by SGA as well as the student body by virtue of a referendum. 

Student Body President Adam Leseman said that the fee will be five dollars per semester for each student, and the money would be going towards things such as educational and promotional items, non-academic research, energy, food, building design and construction, grounds and water conservation.

Leseman said that the Green Fund fee was introduced to SGA in Feb., and that it is something that they have been working on for a while. SGA worked with the budget office on campus to create their allocable budget for this fee, which should generate approximately 50,000 dollars according to Leseman.

After the guidelines and budget for the fee were passed in the student senate, the fee then became subject to a referendum vote. In order for the fee to move on in the approval process, 15% of the student body population needed to vote, with a majority of those votes being in support of the fee. Both of those benchmarks were achieved.

“We got actually over 1,000 students, which was awesome,” said Leseman.

According to Leseman, of those students who participated, approximately four out of five of them voted in support of the referendum.

The last time SGA pursued this type of segregated fee it did not make it past the referendum stage due to a lack of participation. The turnout this time around was a result caused by a stronger marketing approach.

“There were a lot of giveaways, and we added more giveaways to that, we just wanted to get as many students as possible to vote,” said Leseman.

Now, the Green Fund segregated fee proposal will be presented by Interim Chancellor Constance Foster to the UW-System Board of Regents for their approval. Leseman is not concerned about this final stage of the process because of the fact that multiple other UW-System schools, such as UW-Eau Claire, already have segregated fees for green funds in place.

Leseman is expecting to hear back from the UW-System Board of Regents before July 1, 2021 which is the start of the 2021 fiscal year for UW-River Falls.