The Racquet

Student Senate discusses the future of financial affairs at UWL

April Wolford

April Wolford

April Wolford, Student Government Reporter

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On April 25, Student Senate discussed the upcoming future of financial affairs at UWL with guest speaker Bob Hetzel. Hetzel is the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance at UWL. 

Topics included the late fee incurred upon tuition payments received after the deadline, tuition prices for students, and changes to various campus buildings – including the new Prairie Springs building. 

Hetzel began discussion by announcing that the late fee, which has been a topic of discussion for Student Senate over the last several weeks, will be lowered from $75 to $50.  

He also announced that next year’s segregated fees will be increasing by less than 1%, with textbook rental and parking services seeing a 0% increase in price for the next school year. 

Senator Hodges questioned whether the late fee could be integrated into the Maroon to Grey Program – a program which attempts to take unpaid tuition amounts and move them into a grey fund so that students may continue registering for classes if they cannot afford to pay their student bills. Hetzel explained that while this idea is not in the works, he believes “that would be a good use of Maroon to Grey funds.” 

Senator Vu also asked about the status of tuition costs in the state. Hetzel affirmed that under the Governor’s recommendations, tuition will be kept flat with no increase over the next two years.  

He stated, “You might say that’s a good deal for students, and it is, but it’s very hard to operate a university when tuition is flat [and costs are rising].” He added that this is usually the cause for cuts to various departments. 

UWL funds will be used, however, to alter some of the buildings on campus over the next two years. Hetzel stated that the Prairie Springs building is on schedule to open in August, and the University is planning on working on Phase II of the project – creating a connection between the Prairie Springs building and Cowley – in the coming years.  

Wittich Hall is also scheduled to receive a transformation, with construction beginning this summer. The College of Business and Administration will be moving into Wittich Hall when it is completed.  

A question from Senator Kallis about the placing of gender neutral bathrooms in all UWL buildings sparked a response about the construction plans of other buildings on campus.

Wittich, for example, will have four gender neutral bathrooms. For Morris Hall and the Wing Technology Center, there are questions over how designers can create gender neutral bathrooms in those buildings through either finding new space or transforming existing space which is not being used. Also, when Whitney is renovated, it will receive at least one gender neutral bathroom.

Wimberly just recently converted one of its women’s bathrooms (first floor) to a gender neutral bathroom.

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