Editorial Board/FIUSM Staff
Biscayne Bay Campus is notoriously known for being crowded with every kind of student besides those of FIU. High school students crowd the hallways and the cafeteria, and now Maritime Science Technology Academy students are granted FIU OneCards to crowd every other University facility, too, taking advantage of services paid by student fees — fees these high schoolers don’t have to pay.
While most students blame the high schoolers for the loud noise level and overcrowding of BBC’s cafeteria, these students may actually be using additional services that they do not even pay for. Instead, these services are funded out of University students’ pockets at no cost to MAST.
University students pay $12.37 per credit hour each semester as part of the activities and services fee for services like the Recreation Center and Campus Life’s free (or not-so-free) events.
If MAST students are eating our “free” slices of pizza and using our gym, shouldn’t they be paying a fee like every other student?
Student Government Association is investigating if and how much MAST students use University services to charge a fee if determined necessary. This should have been assessed before students were handed FIU OneCards — at most, they should have received library cards.
In response to complaints, it was said that MAST students are indeed FIU students taking FIU classes. If this is the case, they should be treated as such — fees and all.
Most students complain that high schoolers crowd the cafeteria, but luckily this is only a 30-minute nuisance each day. As much of a nuisance this is, the real burden comes when University students are funding these high schoolers’ access to the gym and campus events.
And while this semester there are a mere 90 MAST students, with the building of a MAST facility in the next two years, BBC will be home to a thousand MAST students — maybe then the University will better recognize these students using services for which they should pay.
But a system should be in place to better assess how student services are used and who should be paying a fee.
University students are clearly not the only people using these services, and if MAST students are FIU students, they should pay FIU student fees. Hopefully a fair system can be put in place so that both University and MAST students are happily using the services they pay for.