ASI discussed a proposal to increase the Student Health Service fee to $150 per year at its meeting Wednesday night.
The fee increase proposal was presented by the Director of Student Health Services Mary Ann Takemoto to the ASI Senate.
Currently, students pay a health service fee of $90 per academic year. Students also pay an additional facility fee of $6 per academic year.
Cal State Long Beach has the lowest health service fee of all the California State University campuses.
The average student health fee at a university in the CSU system is $259 per academic year; the average facility fee is $19 per academic year, Takemoto said.
CSULB has maintained the $96 total fee since 2005. There has been no adjustment for the increase in labor costs, insurance, risk management, supplies or medicine.
Takemoto said that the current operating budget of Student Health Services is minus 3 percent of the total budget. Student Health Services has been able to make up the negative difference through temporary government grants.
Takemoto said that the fee increase would maintain the current level of staffing and services. It would also allow extra funding for mental health services, nutrition counseling and sexual health services.
According to Takemoto, there is an “unmet need and demand” for on-campus mental health services. She also said that sexually transmitted diseases have increased on campus.
Other CSU campuses, such as San Diego State, charge a total student health fee of $350 per year. San Diego State is able to provide specialty care such as dentistry and optometry in addition to primary care.
Takemoto said that if CSULB raised the student health fee, Student Health Services would be able to add specialty consultants such as dermatologists and allergists.
The proposed fee increase was presented to the Student Fee Advisory Committee. The committee advised the fee increase to help maintain basic services.
If the fee increase is approved, Takemoto said it could be implemented in one of two ways: the fee would be effective starting in the 2017 spring semester or the fee would increase gradually each semester until the full amount is reached.
In addition to the Student Health Services fee increase, ASI also discussed a resolution adding an investment guideline to the 49er Foundation that would highlight human rights and environmental conservation, discouraging investment in companies that did not adhere to those values.
The resolution was tabled and will be discussed at next week’s meeting.