The SUNY New Paltz Student Association (SA) has extended the deadline for students to vote on keeping the student activity fee mandatory. Every two years the state of New York mandates that college students vote on the fee.
The original voting took place from May 1-3, where they failed to meet the 12.5 percent quota needed to keep the fee mandatory. 11.7 percent of voters said yes, and the voting was extended from Tuesday, May 8 through today, Thursday, May 10 to try and reach the threshold.
If the SA fails to meet the 12.5 percent vote, student’s can back out of the fee, making it optional.
If this happens, it would be detrimental to the state of clubs on New Paltz’s campus. If student’s back out of the fee, it would directly affect the budget of clubs, organizations, events programming and the ability for SA to continue being a functioning governing body.
We at The New Paltz Oracle are one of many clubs here at New Paltz who would suffer dramatically if the student activity fee becomes optional.
We would no longer be able to produce a tangible copy of our paper every week, which means 22 weeks out of the academic school year, there would not be a single trace of what is going on circulating campus.
The radio station? Kiss that goodbye. New Paltz TV? Gone.
Clubs in the media house produce jobs after college. Many members of The Oracle, WFNP: The Edge, and NPC-TV have gone on to do great things in the media world. They have used their time at New Paltz to start their careers by building a resume and portfolio.
But this goes far deeper than just clubs that we associate with on an everyday basis. This would affect every club and student run events here at New Paltz.
Can you imagine going to school here, going to class and not having any extra-curricular activities to choose from because there are no clubs to join?
Some of the best friends we make at school are through clubs, because it allows us to make memories with people who share the same interests as us.
Clubs are enriching and are a vital part of any college experience. A big selling point of a college is what they offer.
New Paltz is blessed to have clubs like the Music Collective who book live music on campus, diversity clubs such as the Black Student Union, outdoor clubs such as the Outing Club that promote exploring the beautiful nature we have in New Paltz, singing, dancing and acting clubs and even club sports, which would all suffer from an optional student activity fee.
We realize we are college students and $105 is money that would be saved and in your pocket if you didn’t have to pay it, but that $105 is well worth it to bring community to New Paltz.
Making the activity fee optional goes beyond just clubs. It will limit and silence the voices of the student body as a whole and will change the community that is New Paltz. Take this voting opportunity to use your voice while you still can.
We at The Oracle implore you to go to my.newpaltz.edu and click the Student Association Elections tab. You will be able to vote from there. The voting ends today, so get to it, students!