The Hatchet editorialized yesterday on today’s student fee referendum. While I am fully supportive of the referendum, I am concerned with the way it is being funded.
As a student leader, I fully understand the funding problem at our school: too many student organizations and a limited amount of funds to go around. Everyone feels that their organization is deserving of funds, and in fact most of them do. Unfortunately, our student fee is designed for a much smaller GW. It was implemented when GW was a commuter school with far fewer student organizations. Now however, with the majority of students live on campus and participate in activities. The current fee it is simply insufficient to meet our current needs, and thus in increase is warranted.
The problem I have with the referendum is how it will be funded. Only incoming freshmen will pay the fee increase. Students in the graduating classes of 2009, 2010, 2011, will benefit from the increase without paying for it. If this referendum is so important, and I believe that it is, then it is important enough for us all to play, not just the incoming freshmen. Applying a tax – and that’s what this fee increase basically is – to only those who will come after us is unfair. They do not get to vote, but they are the only ones of us who will pay for it.
In the end, I decided to vote for the Referendum. The needs of the student body outweighed to problems I have with how this is funded. I just hope in the future we can avoid funding gimmicks like this and have an honest vote on the needs of students.