Committee distributes over $10M

JARED CHURCHILL and DAN DOUCET

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In its annual review of the student fees structure, the Services and Activities Fees Committee finalized its recommendations for various WSU organizations last night.

There will be a $12 decrease in Services and Activities fees for WSU students next year, bringing the $560 currently charged down to $548. Total revenue from student fees is estimated at just under $10.9 million and the committee allocated about $10.2 to the organizations. This leaves a reserve balance of about $700,000.

The CUB and University Recreation received the largest amounts, about $1.5 million each. They both received their entire request.

The committee unanimously granted UREC a $4 increase to student fees per semester. This brings the amount from $153 per semester to $157. UREC officials said the increase is to compensate for rising utility pricing and student-employee wages. UREC also received its requested amount of about $1.5 million.

Athletics received the same amount as last year, about $750,000. The amount requested was $765,000. Many members agreed an increase in allocation would set a bad precedent for athletics, which would make them think they could ask for more next year.

King said athletics used to receive much more funding from the S&A fees but at one point, the athletics director had indicated that they wanted to slowly decrease their dependence on the fees.

“That really didn’t appear to be happening,” she said, “and so the committee was deciding to help them wean off.”

The committee did not grant the Transit Advisory its requested increase of about $24,000 due to a student fee increase that already passed in the ASWSU and GPSA elections last month. If an emergent need were to present itself, like a large enrollment increase, the committee would reconvene in the fall and re-evaluate whether the Transit Advisory could receive money from the reserve balance.

“Personally, as the bus user, if I’m not going to see any new routes, if I’m not going to see any time decreases,” committee member Consuelo Vega said, “then I don’t see why we’re making an increase. Students are already going to pay five more dollars.”

The largest approved percent increase in allocations was for the Office of Student Media, which received a 36.1 percent increase from last year, when it received about $190,000. This year, the committee granted it about $255,000.

“I think this is a group that reaches a lot of students,” Chief University Budget Officer Joan King said, “so I don’t find an issue with their requested increase.”

The Graduate Students of Education requested $27,000, but the committee decided not to grant any of that amount. The committee decided that because the organization is a registered student organization underneath GPSA, they should have gone to GPSA first instead of going straight to the Services and Activities Committee.

The Cougar Marching Band received a 39 percent increase in funds over last year’s amount of about $150,000. The allocation the Cougar Marching Band will receive this year is about $200,000. The S&A Committee also chose to allocate another $17,000 as a one-time request to cover the cost of a negative carry over spent on new instruments last year.

The committee allocated the Student Entertainment Board, Student Involvement, the Access Center, ASWSU, and GPSA their requested amounts.