Poll tax? 'Only students who have paid the SGA fee are eligible to vote,' university rules state.

Students at Austin Peay State University are required to pay a $5 fee in order to be allowed to vote in student government elections.

All required campus fees total over $800.

Students at Austin Peay State University are required to pay a $5 fee in order to be allowed to vote in student government elections.

Included on the “Clarksville Campus Program Services Fees” webpage is a $5 “Student Government Fee” charged to students taking 10 or more credit hours per semester. Students who take less than ten credit hours are charged a prorated amount. 

According to Article 8 Section 1 of the APSU Student Government Association Electoral Act, “only students who have paid the SGA fee are eligible to vote.”

The document was reportedly updated on May 2, 2017. 

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Furthermore, the fee must be paid if a student wishes to be a member of the student government association. 

“To be considered a member of SGA, a student must pay the SGA Fee,” Article 3 Section 4 of the APSU Student Government Association Constitution states

In-state tuition for a student taking twelve credit hours amounts to just over $3,400 per semester whereas out-of-state tuition is just over $6,180. 

Based on a student taking ten or more credit hours, Clarksville Campus Program Services Fees include costs such as $38 for “health services," a $236 “athletics fee," and a $137 “debt service” fee. All required campus fees total over $800. 

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Campus Reform spoke to University of Texas at Austin university-wide representative Sterling Mosley to ask if this type of fee is normally charged to students at the state's public universities. 

“We don’t do anything like that here at UT, and I’ve never heard of something like that before,” Mosley said.

Mosley, a Campus Reform correspondent, recently was denied the nomination for the student government position at his university due to his conservative beliefs. He later ran for election and won that position in student government. 

“I would expect for elections not to have a financial barrier to entry especially when it comes to voting for who will represent you in Student Government," Mosley continued. "It sounds like the Student Government at Austin Peay State needs to change their policy so that all students can vote freely without obstacles in their path for who will represent them, especially at a taxpayer-funded university." 

APSU and the SGA did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.