Students to vote on technology fee

A student technology fee of $90 will be voted on in a student referendum to be held April 9-16.

The university's Board of Governors decided to put the fee to a vote at its March 20 meeting. The board meeting coincided with the occupation of UBC President David Strangway's office by a group of students protesting fee increases.

The student technology fee, aimed at providing students with better access to information technology, was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Information Technology (ACIT) with input from representatives of the Alma Mater Society and Graduate Student Society.

Effective Sept. 1, 1997, the proposed $90 fee would be payable in two installments -- September and January -- and assessed to all undergraduates in the winter session enrolled in a program of 18 credits or more. Undergraduate students taking fewer than 18 credits in any session would be assessed $5 per credit while full-time graduate students would pay $30 per installment and part-time graduate students would pay $20 per installment. The maximum fee payable by any student is $90 per academic year.

Maria Klawe, vice-president, Student and Academic Services, says the allocation of funds raised by the fee would be decided by a committee on which students would have a voting majority.

Klawe says the student technology fee would pay for improvements that would directly benefit students such as more and better computer labs, dial-in access, software training and help.

"It will not be used to wire the campus or to pay for things which are presently paid for by the university," says Klawe.

Klawe says the Registrar will be responsible for running the referendum which will be carried out using the Registrar `s Office's Televote system.

A referendum on an athletics and recreation fee has been deferred to the next academic year.