(All-University Policy)

Michigan State University will have a student tax system that will allow students to assess themselves taxes for the purpose of supporting student sponsored programs and services. The all-University student governing bodies (Council of Graduate Students and the Associated Students of Michigan State University) and the on-campus residence unit governing groups (Residence Halls Association, University Apartments Council of Residents, and Owen Graduate Association) are authorized to collect refundable and mandatory student taxes from their constituent groups subject to initial student referendum and renewal referendum every three years. Additional criteria, procedures, and accountability measures for the use of University collection procedures by the above mentioned groups are to be developed by appropriate administrative offices.

Until further action by the Board, an exception will exist for The State News, Inc., which will continue to collect student tax assessments under the same procedures that have been in effect since The State News, Inc., became a separately incorporated organization.

  • Board of Trustees
  • December 2, 1983

Student Fee Collection Criteria and Procedures
(Administrative Ruling)
I. All-University Student Governing Bodies and On-Campus Residence Governing Groups

University policy provides that Michigan State University will collect mandatory and refundable fees for all-University student governing bodies (Associated Students of Michigan State University and Council of Graduate Students) and on-campus residence governing groups (Residence Halls Association, University Apartments Council of Residents, and Owen Graduate Association). The criteria and procedures follow:

A. All-University student governing bodies and on-campus residence governing groups shall meet the following provisions before the University will collect fees from constituents of the all-University student governing bodies or the on-campus residence governing groups:

1. The all-University student governing bodies and the on-campus residence governing groups shall have constitutions duly ratified by their student constituencies and recognized by the University.

2. The power to assess fees of student constituents must be granted in their constitutions. These all-University governing bodies and the on-campus residence governing groups have the right to assess fees on their student constituencies.

3. The Student Affairs and Services Division and the Business and Finance Division will establish the procedures for collection of mandatory and refundable fees in consultation with the all-University student governing bodies and on-campus residence governing groups.

4. The all-University student governing bodies and the on-campus residence governing groups will establish procedures to refund collected fees to students making the request within the first 10 class days of each academic semester.

5. The all-University student governing bodies and the on-campus residence governing groups will make available a yearly financial report to the student population and to the Division of Student Affairs and Services formatted by the executive committee of each all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group. If an all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group has subdivided its total fee assessment by major governing groups, organizations, or programs (see I.B.), the yearly financial report of the parent all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group must contain information from these constituent major governing groups, organizations, or programs. The availability of this report shall be publicized by November 1 in a publication that is distributed campus-wide to their constituent students.

B. Constituent major governing groups, organizations, and programs of the all-University student governing bodies and on-campus residence governing groups may petition or request from their parent governing body or group monies to fund their activities.

The all-University student governing bodies and on-campus residence governing groups may, however, allow their student constituencies to authorize through referendum process the collection of a fee assessment for a specific major governing group, organization or program (see Section III). If such a fee collection is authorized through the referendum process, the parent all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group may develop requirements and procedures that govern the use of the fees collected by the specific major governing group, organization, or program.

C. The mandatory and refundable fee collected by the University on behalf of these all-University student governing bodies or on-campus residence governing groups shall be subject to renewal by referendum of the affected student constituency every three years.

1. If an all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group has subdivided its total fee assessment by major governing groups, organizations, or programs, the renewal referendum will be conducted on each major governing group, organization, or program every three years.

2. Renewal of the fee requires an approval by a majority of the students voting.

II. Incorporated Student Organizations
University collection procedures may not be used by an all-University student governing body, major student governing group, or student organization which is separately incorporated.

III. Referendum for Establishment, Modification, or Removal
An additional referendum for either establishment, modification, or removal of an all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group will be held if the following conditions have been met:

A. A student, major governing group, organization, or program has obtained, by written petition, the written support of at least thirty percent of the affected student constituency for such a referendum. The petition must fairly represent the action that is being requested. Petitions may be circulated from the first day of early registration to the last day of the fifth week of the semester in which the early registration applied. The petitions will be validated by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services at the expense of the student, major governing group, organization, or program.

1. Upon validation of the petitions, a referendum shall be held in a manner prescribed by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services. A majority (fifty percent plus one) of the affected student constituency must vote, and the referendum must be approved by a majority of those voting. Renewal procedures are outlined in Section IV.

2. The costs of all initial and renewal referenda authorized by the procedure outlined in the section of the administrative ruling (III.A.) will be borne by the requesting student, major governing group, organization, or program.

B. An all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group may request a referendum to establish a mandatory fee assessment of a new and different student constituency or they may request a referendum to authorize the collection of fees for a specific major governing group, organization, or program. This referendum shall be held in a manner prescribed by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services. The referendum will be open only to the proposed student constituency. A majority of that constituency (fifty percent plus one) must vote on the referendum, and approval for the referendum must be by a majority of those voting.

1. At the time of renewal for fees authorized by the procedure outlined in this section of the administrative ruling (III.B.), the all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group that initially requested the referendum for the specific major governing group, organization, or program must decide if it wishes to continue to support the specific major governing group, organization, or program. Renewal referendum procedures are outlined in Section IV. If the all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group withdraws its support, the renewal referendum will not be held and the collection of taxes will cease after the spring semester of the third year that the taxes have been collected for the specific major governing group, organization or program.

2. The costs of all initial and renewal referenda authorized by the procedure outlined in this section of the administrative ruling (III.B.) will be borne by the requesting major governing group, organization, or program (or all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group if a new and different student constituency is being taxed).

C. An all-University student governing body or on-campus residence governing group may request a referendum for modification or removal of any previously established fee under its jurisdiction. A specific major governing group, organization, or program may also request a referendum for modification or removal of any fee it is receiving. These referenda shall be held during the next entire registration procedure except summer term. The referenda must be approved by a majority of students voting.

D. When a student fee is established or modified through a referendum, the new fee will take effect two registration periods after the registration period in which the referendum was conducted (e.g., a referendum conducted fall registration, new fee takes effect summer registration; a referendum conducted spring registration, new fee takes effect at fall registration).

IV. Referendum for Renewal

A. Renewal referenda on the taxes collected for the all-University student governing bodies and on-campus residence governing groups shall be conducted on a rotating basis during spring semester. Not more than two renewal issues shall be on the ballot during the same period. Renewal of the fees requires an approval by a majority of the students voting.

B. If the referendum is not approved, fees will not be collected commencing with the following fall semester. An all-University student governing body or an on-campus residence group may request a new referendum to re-establish the fee. This referendum may be conducted any term except summer term. Reestablishment of the fee requires that a majority (fifty percent plus one) of the affected student constituency must vote in the referendum. The referendum must then be approved by a majority of those voting.

V. University Authorization for Tax Collection
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Services shall be the University official empowered to authorize tax collections and/or referenda if the all-University governing bodies or on-campus residence governing groups have met the appropriate provisions of this Administrative Ruling.

VI. Violation of Regulations and Procedures
If it is alleged that any all-University student governing body, on-campus residence governing group, major governing group, organization or program is violating the regulations and procedures in this Administrative Ruling, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services or his/her designee shall conduct a hearing on this matter. If it is the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services that violation of procedures is evident, the affected group(s) may be suspended from collection privileges.

VII. Petition, Referendum, and Collection Costs
The costs associated with validating petitions, conducting referenda, and collecting fees will be borne by the requesting group(s) or student(s).

  • Vice President for Student Affairs and Services
  • June, 1984