IU Student Government released a petition last month to measure support for eliminating the $8.60 add/drop fee for classes. IU-Bloomington is the only campus that charges students to change their schedules after the registration period ends.
IUSG Speaker of Congress and third-year law student Andrew Ireland said once Congress passed the bill it went to the executive branch, which is in charge of trying to get the fee eliminated. He said IUSG’s goal was to collect 5,000 signatures before taking the petition to IU administration. As of Thursday, the petition had over 2,000 signatures.
Second year IU-Purdue University Indianapolis law student Molly Connor, a student trustee on the Board of Trustees, said there is no threshold for a number of signatures the petition needs to gain, but rather it’s a matter of getting the issue in front of the board.
Connor said the petition is still in its early stages. First, IUSG needs to continue working with the Office of the Bursar and relevant administrators on the IU-Bloomington campus, including the Office of the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. The proposal would pass if the majority of the board voted to eliminate the fee.
Connor said the issue may not come before the board until June 2021. She said the board discusses tuition fees every two years. However, she said she thinks there is a good chance it could come to them earlier if students and administrators push for it to get approved faster.
If the petition goes to the board, Connor said she thinks board members would be open to hearing from the students and administrative bodies.
“College affordability is more important than ever in my opinion,” Connor said.
IUSG Student Body President Isabel Mishkin said in an email to the Indiana Daily Student that the next IUSG executive administration elected in April can take advice from the past administration to continue to work toward getting the fee eliminated.
“People are listening, people are engaged in this, and they’d like to see change,” Ireland said.
Sophomore Brandon Barnes said he was charged about $50 in add/drop fees his freshman year because he changed his schedule several times. He became aware of the petition when his roommate from last year posted it on social media. He said he wanted to sign it after learning that IU-B is the only IU campus that still has an add/drop fee for classes.
“I think it’s such an absurd thing,” Barnes said. “I’m being punished for being indecisive.”