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Bills Focused On Fee Transparency, Student Autonomy Pass Out Of Oregon House

The Oregon Capitol in Salem, Ore., Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.

Bradley Parks | OPB

The Oregon Capitol in Salem, Ore., Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.

The bills are looking to clarify the autonomy of student government over student dollars and to provide transparency over the fees requested from students by university and college administrations.

One bill is focused on informing university students of where their fee money is going. Another is meant to clarify the power of student governments and how much power they have over those student fees. Both pieces of legislation have passed the Oregon House and are on their way to the state senate.

House Bill 3012 would clarify the autonomy that college and university student governments have over their budget decisions — specifically regarding incidental fees, the fees collected from students and allocated by student government to campus services and organizations.

The bill would limit the ability of university or college administrations to refuse new incidental fees or to block the process for collecting those fees.

House Bill 2542 would require all public universities and colleges to prominently display the price of the mandatory fees set by administrators that students are required to pay. It would also outline where that money is being spent.

“We are thankful that representatives saw the importance of protecting the interests and rights of college students through these bills and urge senators to do the same,” the Oregon Student Association, a nonprofit that has been supporting and advocating for the bills, said in a statement. “If there is one thing that this year has shown us again and again, it is the importance of these institutions remaining accountable to the students they serve.”

The bills are scheduled for their first readings in the Senate this week.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.