At Sunday’s Student Council meeting, Dean of Students Hank Toutain posed a question: “Should we raise the student activities fee?”
The $150-per-semester fee joins the health and counseling and room and board costs on top of tuition. Student Council’s Business and Finance Committee (BFC) allocates the money to student clubs and organizations on campus.
“Even large clubs are not getting all of the funding they want right now,” Student Council President Phoebe Roe ’16 said. “Right now, the process is a lot of looking at events and seeing how many people attend, so a lot of the time the smaller organizations that have fewer connections or fewer members … end up not getting a lot of things that they want.”
This week, Student Council members are tasked with gauging their constituents’ opinions on a possible hike.
Sophomore class representative Cayla Anderson said people she’s spoken with “would prefer that the fee not go up.”
Generally, senior staff reviews the student activities fee every three years to make sure it is keeping up with inflation rates in the U.S. But this year, it is a topic of conversation in part because of a few conflicts identified by the BFC, according to Roe.
BFC co-chair Alejandro Henao Gallego ’16 said the BFC would suggest that any increase in funds would “go towards groups that don’t get a lot of funds right now,” because smaller groups have been going to the BFC requesting money that is being given to larger groups with higher costs.
If Student Council members report on Sunday that their constituents are interested in an increase, the BFC will compile data on how additional funding might affect students activities on campus. There is no deadline for Student Council to make its recommendation.