The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

SFC Committee votes to reject fee-funded wage increase, approves other packages

Lily Middleton

In their final meeting, the Student Fee Committee voted to reject the proposal for a fee-funded student wage increase and approved other proposals, like increasing the amount of student tickets for athletics.

According to SFC Chair Matteo Paola, the approved requests will go to the ASOSU Senate as a recommendation and will either be passed or voted down to be amended.

Although the fee-funded student employee wage increase–$15.90 to $16.65–was initially rejected, Associated Students of Oregon State University Senate introduced a bill the night of Feb. 6 to increase the fee-funded student employee minimum wage. 

Senate deliberations will take place again on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to discuss all the bills introduced and listen to public testimony, according to SFC Vice Chair Sophia Nowers. 

The SFC’s recommendation to merge Intercollegiate Athletic’s fee with ASOSU’s was made to negotiate an increase in student tickets to athletic events, according to Nowers.

In addition, the SFC passed a decision package that included funds for student engagement activities at the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts. 

According to Nowers, this means students will be able to attend performances by professional artists at PRAx for $5 per seat versus $55 for non-students. In addition, they would be able to go to PRAx art exhibits for free, as well as participate in engagement activities with award-winning professional artists. 

“I think it’s a great thing that they lowered (the fee) to $5,” said third-year graphic design major Holly Thompson. “I think it’ll gain a lot more attention and people will actually come to the gallery.”

The fee-funded student employee wage increase–SR-83.01: Resolution for a Living Wage for Student Workers–was not included in the proposal. According to Nowers, the decision came after a lot of deliberation. 

Ultimately, the motion failed with six committee members in disagreement, five in agreement and only one abstention. 

“The SFC saw a lot of student testimony, especially about the wage proposal, and had over two hours of discussion on the proposal,” Nowers said.

If passed, the proposal would have only affected fee-funded student employees. 

Fee-funded units include ASOSU, Intercollegiate Athletics, Memorial Union, Recreational Sports, Basic Needs Center, Family Resource Center, Student Experiences and Engagement and Performing Arts. Student employees not employed by these units would not have been included in the wage increase. 

However, some believe it could be impactful to a wider OSU community.

“I know that lots of people don’t make enough to afford going to school and living at the same time.” Thompson said, “I’m fortunate enough where I am not that affected by what I make, but I do know that a lot of people need this extra increase in their salary.”

The rejection of the proposal is not the end of the issue.

“It does seem as if this is black and white, but this is not true,” said ASOSU President Carissa O’Donnell during final deliberations. “We have established a taskforce with OSU administration to address wage issues on campus more broadly, so this vote does not entirely determine student wages going forward.”

As mentioned last week, O’Donnell and Nowers confirmed ASOSU is working with university leadership to address university-wide pay disparities with a student pay structure. 

“The idea is to raise student wages across campus,” Nowers said. “Instead of having a different rate for each academic department.” 

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