Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Student Legal Services is worth $4 more

With BGSU’s Undergraduate Student Government passing a resolution introduced on Jan. 31, it is now up to the board of trustees at their next meeting to vote on the raise from $9 to $13.

It’s easy to have the gut reaction that any fees going up are bad, especially for college students. However, there are a number of factors that cause me to be in favor of this increase.

Students at BGSU pay $9 in order to receive full access to these attorneys. They are not the university’s attorneys; they are the students’ attorneys.

Honestly, when you think about it, it’s incredible. These lawyers know that many students simply aren’t well educated about much to do with the law. Most of us are ripe to be taken advantage of by some sneaky clause in a contract, some sleazy employer or some greedy landlord.

Even if you don’t have those sorts of issues, they can provide guidance on all kinds of things. Things like car titles, name changes or even just how to read a contract. Plus, they provide notary services — something that I’ve taken advantage of personally.

What SLS provides can vary from mundanely helpful to disaster-avoiding. We, as students, get access to it for just $9 every semester. For now, at least.

USG’s proposal would raise that fee up to $13.

Now, SLS attorney Rodney Fleming spoke to USG about this topic at the same meeting. He told the Senators that 88% of students currently pay their legal fee. So, let’s do some back-of-the-napkin math. BGSU’s current student body is approximately 15,000. With the current $9 per semester fee, this means SLS is currently receiving roughly $237,600 annually. An increase of the fee to $13 would raise SLS’ annual budget to approximately $343,200.

Something else Fleming talked about was what their budget gets spent on. The fee increase wouldn’t just be used to inflate some lawyers’ salaries. BGSU actually charges SLS for everything. Rent, office supplies, phone services, everything. They’re basically an independent law firm, loosely sponsored by the university. A budget increase would give them more resources across the board, allowing them to handle students’ issues with more care and attention.

While hopefully, none of us will ever need their services, there are those that need them quite desperately. Paying one’s legal fee is quite insubstantial in the grand scheme of things — $9 compared to the thousands we pay in tuition.

In the period of our lives where so many of us are learning how to be adults, having attorneys at your fingertips can be such a godsend. So, I gladly pay my $9 each semester, and I’d gladly pay $4 more.

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