Kai Blake Lewis
(Buffalo, N.Y.) – Since spring 2016, the United Students Government (USG) at SUNY Buffalo State has been trying to raise the mandatory student activity fee.
We need to “bring awareness of the importance of the mandatory student activity fee,” said Latia Banks, USG treasurer. The “Lights Out” event is scheduled to begin March 17.
“Lights Out is a campaign here at Buffalo State that I decided to do last semester that I’m bringing forward to this semester, basically to bring awareness to the mandatory student activity fee and what USG does for students,” said Banks.
The “Lights Out” event is an extension from last semester when USG shut down for a day to show the campus how student life would be affected without the group. This semester there will be a full week of events compared to a single day event that took place October 2016.
Banks said USG hopes to inform students about how much the student activity fee is needed.
USG funds a plethora of student organizations on campus, including the Fashion Student Association, the African American Student Organization, NAACP, Black Active Minds, the Ink club and many more.
“It will effect our organization and the student body, because having a black out for a week is more effective than having it for just one day,” said Bianca Louis, executive member of the Fashion Student Association.
As the number of students at Buffalo State grows, some would argue so should the activity fee.
USG is considering raising the fee by $25 per a student, which would bring the total price to $100 per semester. The group will vote on the proposal later this semester.
However, there is some backlash from students who complain about having to pay more money to attend Buffalo State.
“I personally feel like it (the fee) shouldn’t be risen because students will want to stop paying for it and that will cause a silence on campus because the student activity fee is what we depend on,” said Patrica Alesee, a junior at Buffalo State.
“I disapprove of the student activity fee being risen, due to the fact that we’re trying to lessen fees for all our students (and )tuition is high,” said Quinn Jones, a senior at Buffalo State.
However, USG members say they hope the Lights Out event will create an understanding among students of how the student activity fee is utilized on campus, so the student body can better understand why it needs to be increased.