Yale looks at ways to set up fee

University administrators are viewing the results of a student vote last week as a mandate to seek ways to implement an activities fee, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said.

The University has not reached any final decision about the fee, but Salovey met with Yale College Council members Tuesday to discuss the next steps in adopting it, YCC president Andrew Cedar ’06 said. Salovey will attend a YCC meeting early next week, where the activities fee likely will be addressed again.

The administration considers overwhelming student support for the proposal — 78 percent of 2,379 students supported the measure — as a strong impetus to discuss it, Salovey said.

“I was impressed that about half the students made the effort to vote,” Salovey said. “I take that as an instruction to begin conversations with relevant administrators about what are our options for the implementation of such a fee.”

Cedar declined to comment on the specifics of the meeting because he said that details have not yet been finalized.

“It’s all still up in the air,” Cedar said.

Similarly, Salovey said although administrators have begun discussing the proposal seriously, they have not yet “reached any conclusions.” They must still discuss issues such as where the money would reside, and how it would be disbursed, he said.

“The YCC articulated a fee that is a starting point,” Salovey said.

Yale College Democrats president Alissa Stollwerk ’06 said she thinks the support students demonstrated for the fee makes her “optimistic” that it will be effective in improving student life.

“I’m optimistic that it will help clubs, including the Yale College Democrats, to get funding,” Stollwerk said. “I think what we heard during the activities fee campaign is that Yale organizations do receive less funding than organizations at other schools.”

Under the YCC’s proposal, about 50 percent, or $107,500, of the expected $215,000 the fee would net would be allocated to the YCC for campus-wide events like Spring Fling; about 20 percent, or $43,000, would go to club sports teams; about 15 percent, or $32,250, would go to the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee to distribute to student clubs; and about 15 percent, or $32,250, would fund a new intercollegiate initiative whereby students from different colleges could collectively organize campus events and parties.

The YCC also has recommended that the University pick up the tab for the fee for students receiving financial aid, and it has proposed that the fee be optional for all undergraduates. But YCC leaders said how and when students could opt out of the fee still needs to be determined.

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