Illustration by Amber Chin

UTSA will propose several student fee increases to the UT Board of Regents for Fall 2020, including a $3 increase for the Library Resource Charge and a $3.10 increase for the Medical Services Fee. While fee increases are historically unpopular among students, these fees are worth the extra dollars.

For the proposed library and medical fee increases for next year, students have no power to decide whether or not to approve them. However, the proposed Library Resource Charge and Medical Services Fee increases will provide a set of tangible resources and services that students want and will appreciate.

These two fees will fund services and resources that will result in immediate benefits for students. The Library Resource Charge increase will extend John Peace Library (JPL) hours to 24/7 and the Downtown Library’s hours will be extended to 24/5. Students will have access to the libraries’ resources with resources and more studying convenience. These new hours allow students to use library resources that are flexible with their schedule and will be valuable to students who rely on the JPL and Downtown Library for a reliable internet connection, access to computers, programs and a safe and quiet place to work.

The Medical Services Fee increase will result in various resources for students on campus, including flu vaccinations, a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program, as well as low-cost testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Receiving a free flu shot can prevent students from dealing with a miserable illness and putting other students at risk of catching the flu. The fee will also implement a PrEP medication program at UTSA that will be a powerful tool to help prevent and control HIV among students. Additionally, low-cost STI testing will further students’ understanding of their sexual health and promote safe sex.

While increased tuition is not appealing to most students, the additional costs will not be in vain. With the proposed library and medical fee increases, the university will provide services that will directly benefit students. However, UTSA must make the effort to adequately educate students on what their money is going towards in order for them to take full advantage of what the university plans to offer.

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