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Legal fees will rise: USG votes to raise student legal services from $9 to $13

usg+report+9%2F1+-+Graphic+by+Hallie+Riley
usg report 9/1 – Graphic by Hallie Riley

Undergraduate Student Government passed Senate Resolution 09 by majority rule, with two nays and one abstention, recommending a raise of legal fees at BGSU to $13.

S.R. 09 states that the legal services will help “Bowling Green State University in accomplishing its goal of fostering a positive living and learning environment for success and retention.” 

With the last raise being in 2014, from $7 to $9, S.R. 09’s passing will allow for the Student Legal Services to maintain their ministrations. 

Zachary Noesen, Academic Affairs Committee Chair, Diversity Affairs Senator and author of S.R. 09, said that “their costs are rising so I don’t think it is going to change too much as much as maintain what they currently have. If they had maintained at $9, they would have had to drop some of the things they are currently doing.”

Students who are not able to meet the cost or are not willing to pay the fee will be allowed to opt out of the $13. 

Damon Sherry, Senator At Large, disagreed with the rise in legal fees after talking with the student body and getting a sense of what they feel about the increase in the legal fee.

Sherry stated “before getting to vote, I went and talked to students, getting their opinions and there were a lot of negative reactions. Since I represent the student body as a whole, I’m going to vote that way.”

These changes will be discussed in a BGSU trustees meeting in March, and if approved, the rise in the Student Legal Services Fee can be put into the system by fall 2023.

USG also spoke with Student Legal Services representative, Rodney Fleming, about how the legal services work and what they provide for the students of BGSU. 

Fleming mentions, “we average over 1,200 students’ office consultations a year and are going to court over 874 times a year.”

Legal services are scarcely provided by schools in Ohio, and Fleming points out “going to $13, we will only be ahead of Kent State … I still think we are on the bottom of the scale and the value is still there for the students.” 

Fleming explained Student Legal Services are for students and while it might seem unlikely to fall into legal trouble, students can be innocent victims of different crimes. 

“I can’t imagine why, for the price of a pizza, you wouldn’t ensure or protect yourself, just in case,” Fleming said.

USG Vice President Gil Lutz said in a BGSU President Rodney Rogers to discuss COVID-19 updates, he found ot students can receive KN95 masks by calling the hotline.

Falcon Heights Senator Connor Winke resigned from his position for personal reasons. Jade Blankenship sat in as a temporary replacement.

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