A screenshot of a 1968 article on the Student Activity Fee referendum. Stony Brook University students vote on whether to make the fee mandatory every two years. STATESMAN FILE

Originally published July 17, 1968

The future of the student activities fee, a question this past year at Stony Brook, is still in doubt. A SUNY Board of Trustees resolution of November 27, 1968 stated that the fee could be made mandatory either by a referendum of the student polity or by a declaration from University President John S. Toll. Student government has not arranged for a referendum this summer. President Toll has not declared the fee mandatory, but he said he will support student government if they establish a mandatory fee. 

Acting Polity President Peter Adams said, “If Dr. Toll doesn’t come out and-simply state that he is going to enforce a mandatory student activities fee, then student government is not going to fool around trying to operate with a voluntary student activities fee. We just won’t have a student activities program next year. The students will get so pissed off that they will institute the recall procedures and elect a new student government. When the new officers are elected, no one will question its legitimacy!” 

Dr. Toll, on July 10, issued a letter to Student Polity President Don Rubin that said, in part, “I’m glad to support the mandatory nature of the student activities fee for undergraduate students” if certain preconditions are met.

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In a STATESMAN interview, Dr. Toll said the letter voices his support of the student government in the establishment of “a mandatory fee for undergraduate students on this campus” – if it is in accordance with the SUNY Board of Trustees resolution of November 27, 1967. 

Even if the fee is declared mandatory by Dr. Toll and student government, the question of the cost of the fee remains. If student government is forced to pay for athletics, the fee may be raised from $50 to $60. 

Adams explained that the Board of Trustees had passed a resolution which would enable the University to provide the funds for athletics. However, Dr. Toll said, “We do not have the explicit support for this program. ” Thus, because the monies are not in the budget, the University will be unable to fund athletics. Student government contends that the Board of Trustees’ resolution supersedes President Toll’s position, and that students should not have to pay for something for which the state is supposed to be paying.

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