New $300 fee anger some upperclassmen

Did you know that a college student could do 240 loads of laundry with $600? Or that they can buy 6,000 packages of Ramen noodles?Or you could use it to help improve Castleton State College.

Last year, Castleton President David Wolk announced plans for the Castleton Student Initiative that will provide students with state-of -the-art athletic facilities along with a new and improved campus center.

“It is the largest investment in the history of Castleton and the Vermont State Colleges, and it holds the key to our future,” Wolk said.

The initiative has been the topic of discussion among many Castleton students lately — and not all positive. In fact, some students – namely sophomore and juniors — are upset, not at the improvements, but at having to pay for them.

Starting next year, the college will be charging students a $300 student activity fee per semester, which will set Castleton students back a total of $600 a year. Currently there is no fee.

Upper class members say they’re upset because they will be paying an extra $600 a year to help fund something they will never be able to use. Even some underclassmen say they are opposed to the fee.

“I think it’s stupid. I don’t want to pay,” freshmen Maggie Mercy said.

Sophomore Bridget Nilsson said she thinks the fee is ridiculous and that the extra $1,200 on her tuition is too much.

“We’re not even going to be here,” junior Kara LaFond exclaimed when informed of the new fee.

But Lucas Roberts, vice president of the Student Association, feels differently about the fee.

“Some students are upset, primarily because they don’t understand what the initiative is about,” said Roberts.

And Wolk says that the new Castleton fee is very reasonable compared to what other schools are charging.

“Castleton’s current student activity fee is lower than any other college in the Northeast with whom we compete. With the new $300 per semester student fee, our student fees will still remain lower than our competition,” Wolk explained.

Some students have their own opinions on how the new fee should be applied.

“People that are eligible to use it should pay, and people that will graduate first shouldn’t have to,” said junior Michael Tucci.

Junior Danielle Haley had similar thoughts to Tucci.

“I think they should tack on the fee to the incoming freshmen next year and from then on, not for us who won’t be here,” she said.

Despite what students may say, Roberts still feels that the fee will be a good thing for Castleton students.

“Implementing the new student activity fee is a good thing for many reasons. It is a bargain for the students. This fee will benefit all students by funding an enlarged Campus Center, athletic facility, athletic fields and reinvigorating the look and feel of our entire campus. By the way, there is a skate park in the plans too. Every student who goes to Castleton will benefit from these improvements,” said Roberts.

Still some students aren’t buying the pitch. Sixth-year senior Sarah Catanese didn’t offer suggestions or anger, but a plea to the college.

“Please don’t charge me, I’m graduating soon,” Catanese begged.

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