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Should students be able to opt-out of fees?

Fees benefit everyone

Opinion by Padideh Aghanoury

Student fees are an inevitable part of college. These fees help pay for a variety of necessary features on a campus that are not fully funded by tuition alone.

For example, students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are enrolled in a wide variety of degree programs, from philosophy to creative writing to biology. However, all these students have something in common; they must take at least two science courses, with labs, in order to graduate. The materials used in labs, such as chemicals, test tubes, and goggles, are not fully covered by tuition costs. Student fees help make up the difference in courses that are required to be taken by everyone.

Similarly, campus clubs and organizations receive a majority, if not all, of their funding from student fees. The Sentry itself operates from the collective contribution of student fees. The entire student body of CU Denver is welcome, and in fact encouraged, to participate in interacting with student publications, as they represent the voices of students who attend this institution and extend further development in future career opportunities. Campus publications are an extension of the education one receives on this campus and help students prepare for workplace situations that cannot be replicated in the classroom.

Student Government, another organization funded by student fees, provides an opportunity for students to prepare for a career in governance, while Arabic Language Club provides an environment for students to practice their spoken language skills outside of their 75-minute class period.

And though a student will not be able to participate in every single club or campus opportunity during their time at CU Denver, their student fees allow each student to have a fair opportunity to gain the most from their experiences while on campus.

Fees should be optional

Opinion by Sarai Nissan

When considering the educational system in the United States, the allocation of student fees has become the fuel for American capitalism. Although student fees support programs and services outside of course requirements, at their core, American universities—and especially Auraria Higher Education Center—are businesses.

The biggest concern with students unable to opt-out of student fees is the fact that there are many fees that students aren’t even aware of that they have to pay. There are orientation fees, freshman fees, campus fees, commencement fees, and fees that have no clear meaning as to what they actually do: bond fees, energy renewal fees, student spirit fees, information technology fees, and so on. While there are many beneficial fees that support programs like school newspapers or crisis centers, there are even more fees that only seem to allow education facilities to raise their own revenue.

The Auraria Higher Education Center profits off of exploiting students. The fees that are exclusive to AHEC are vague and undefined yet require Auraria Campus students to pay them if they want to get their degree on this campus. The ability to opt-out of student fees would allow students to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars if they chose not to pay the fees that have no relation or impact on their own degree. The only damage that this would cause is to facilities like AHEC, as they cannot pilfer money from unknowing and unsuspecting students. These additional fees often cripple students’ funds and are primarily, if not solely, due to the exorbitant student fees that these industries push onto their clientele, because that is how they see students: not as students, but as clients.

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