Over $1 million from S&A Fees were not allocated to students this school year

Fee waivers for scholarships reduced total contributions to S&A, overall budget



This graph shows the total amount of Services and Activities money waived by scholarships given by WSU. For the past five years, students at WSU have annually lost $907,547 on average as a result of fee waivers.

LUKE HUDSON, Evergreen reporter

WSU students did not receive nearly $1.1 million earmarked for student use this year because WSU scholarships waive Services and Activities Fees before tuition. Students were not able to allocate this money to fund services from groups like ASWSU, GPSA and the CUB.

ASWSU President Quinton Berkompas said this spring, members of the S&A committee noticed that despite record enrollment, the money from fees did not grow at the same rate as the student population.

“What we weren’t seeing behind the scenes is that the administration is making a decision of whether that is waiving tuition, whether that’s waiving fees, or where that’s going,” he said.

Berkompas does not think this policy was intentional, he said, but students were not aware of it until this year.

“I think every single time a cut is made it affects students,” he said.

Berkompas said he met with upper administrators and they are on board to change this policy. Whether that change will reduce the number of fees waived by scholarships or eliminate S&A fee waivers from scholarships remains to be seen.

Over the past five years, students received an average of $907,547 less per year than they would if scholarships did not waive S&A fees, according to the S&A budget.

The S&A committee meets every spring to hear proposals from various student groups and decide how much money those groups will receive from the general fund. Berkompas said the committee is made up of students and staff but must always have a student majority.

For the 2018-19 school year, if the S&A committee had received the money that was waived each group would have received an 8.1 percent increase to their budget.

In 2018, the CUB would have received over $130,000 more, according to the Pullman S&A Fee Committee.

Karee Shaw, director of event services and operations for the CUB, said this extra money would have prevented cuts to the CUB’s hours of operation.

Shaw said if the CUB had received the full S&A request last year, one of the first-floor restrooms could have been upgraded from one men’s and one women’s restroom into two all-gender restrooms.

In 2018, Student Involvement would have received about $74,132 more, according to the Pullman S&A Fee Committee.

Brian Shuffield, executive director of Student Involvement, said though it is difficult to say what that extra money might have been used for, the money would have been used for programming and staff salaries.

Berkompas said he plans to present this issue to the ASWSU Senate during its regular meeting on Wednesday. He said he will also present the issue to the WSU Board of Regents when it meets in Pullman on Thursday and Friday.