During the first Otterbein University Student Government (OUSG) meeting of the semester, Vice President of Student Affairs Robert Gatti and Vice President of Business Affairs Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings presented to OUSG the possibility of a Campus Center fee.
Starting fall of 2019, students will pay a Campus Center facility fee estimated between $125 to $150.
According to Colette Masterson, OUSG faculty advisor, the concept of a renovated Campus Center has been on the University's last two master plans, which spans over ten years.
OUSG has no official say in what happens with the fee, but Otterbein administration wanted to hear student opinion on the possibility.
"Any new fee that has been established has gone through student government, for example the technology fee and the now campus center fee have been vetted, reviewed, discussed and supported by student government. So, that is why the process went through student government," said Masterson.
After the January meeting, members of OUSG were tasked with talking with their constituents to find out how they felt about the idea of a new Campus Center and fee.
In fall of 2017 there was a town hall held for students to ask members of OUSG questions on a variety of topics, with the new Campus Center being up for discussion. Student Government President Jeremy Paul said that members of OUSG and students felt that a better campus center would have improved their experience on campus.
Paul said that those conversations with students in part led to the OUSG's formulation of stipulations for the fee. "We heard student concerns, we took student concerns and we voiced them," said Paul.
The stipulations presented to the administration said that the fee would not be enacted until fall of 2019, the class of 2020 will be recognized for their contributions to the building and that there will be a "fee freeze" for the next four years.
Masterson said student government has played a role in the student experience at Otterbein since its creation in 2015. This role is what led OUSG to make the announcement about the fee instead of Otterbein administration.