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Students protest automatic fee on tutition bill

A small fee caused a tiny commotion at a special Monday meeting of the Arizona Board of Regents.

At issue was the $2 per-student, per-semester fee that’s automatically tacked on to tuition bills.

The state’s three public universities collect the fees on behalf of the Arizona Students’ Association, an independent 501(c)(4) organization that advocates as a collective voice on behalf of students for affordable and accessible higher education. Officials with the Arizona Students’ Association say nearly 80-percent of the students were actually in favor of the fee.

While the $2 fee is automatically added to student bills, they can request refunds, which are mandatory. But critics say the universities should not be collecting cash for an outside group.

Late Monday afternoon, the Board of Regents voted to suspend the collection process for the spring semester while it deliberates permanent policy changes.