The Student Government Association launched two online petitions on Feb. 9 in response to Senate Bills 1608 and 2493. Both bills, written by State Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, would alter the way student activity fees are allocated at all public institutions of higher education in Tennessee on the basis that the current process is biased and unequal.
SB 1608 would divide and distribute student fees among student organizations based on the membership of the groups requesting funding for speakers and other programming. On the other hand, SB 2493 would completely prohibit the use of institutional revenues for visiting or guest speakers.
The SGA petitions advocate for the retention of the current student fee distribution process, which allows students on the University Programs and Services Fee funding board to determine which groups and events the 5 percent of student fees devoted to programming are given to.
One petition is open to all students and faculty at Tennessee Board of Regents schools, including state universities and community colleges and can be found here. An additional petition open to the general public was created on change.org.