Next fall, Emporia State students will pay 2.4 percent more for housing and food plans than this year. All six state universities in Kansas submitted housing and food service rate proposals for fiscal year 2012 during the regular meeting of Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) in November.
According to the proposals, Emporia State and Wichita State intend to increase housing and food fees by 2.4 percent, Pittsburg State 4.5 percent, Kansas State 3.5 percent, Fort Hays State 3.2 percent and Kansas 1.4 percent.
ESU’s total increase includes about a three percent increase in housing and about 2 percent in food plan costs. The Standard Double rate will go up $90 to $3,270, and the All Access meal plan will go up $60 to $3,110.
“In the past couple of years, we knew utilities were going to go up,” said Cass Coughlin, director of Residential Life. “One year electricity went up 10 percent. Last year the water went up. It was a significant increase. For next year, typically the benefits— the amount we paid for employee insurance – that amount goes up.”
The three percent increase in the housing rate that ESU proposed to KBOR for 2012 will generate additional gross revenue of approximately $90,000. Estimated expenses mostly depend upon changes to utility rates, fringe benefit rates or to salaries through phase three of the classified pay plan adjustments.
The additional revenue generated from the increase will be utilized to finance capital improvements in the residence halls, such as the internet in Morse and Towers, Chiller in Morse and phase one of substantial remodeling of Morse, according to the proposal.
“All the houses will be wireless starting in this spring semester,” Coughlin said.
Food plan costs are proposed to increase two percent, which is expected to meet the higher food costs of dining operations, especially the cost to Sodexo, who provides the dining service in Memorial Union.
The proposal says that the increase would generate approximately $39,000 of additional revenue, which will be used to fund projected increased costs of the food service contract for 2012.
David Hendricks, director of the Memorial Union, said that the Memorial Union, as a nonprofit organization, needed to make sure that they brought in enough money to cover the expenses.
“It’s always been our philosophy to keep that percentage as low as possible,” Hendricks said. “The year before, there was a one and a half percentage increase on the retail side. This year it was two percent, which I think, in my opinion, is really low.”
For most college students the increase in costs of tuition and accommodation is not new. Jonathan Rivers, senior secondary education major and president of Associated Student Government, helped make the proposal.
“That’s kind of rational,” Rivers said. “We’ve decided not to raise any more than that two percent level just because so many people are still struggling.”
If the proposals are passed by the KBOR in Dec., ESU students will be charged on the new rate for the fall semester next year. The increase in housing and food rates from the 2008 to 2011 academic years will be 8.93 percent in total.