Services and Activities fee reduced by $25

Full fee will be charged in future semesters; groups asked to prioritize student employment

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ANISSA CHAK

The $25 cut is not permanent and students will be charged $279 in future semesters.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

Services and Activities Fee Committee members decided to reduce the S&A fee from $279 to $254 for spring 2021. The committee met Oct. 20 and 22 to deliberate on student feedback regarding the fees.

Students who responded to a request for feedback said they did not want to pay for recreation or transportation because they cannot access those resources if they are not on campus. 

“The goal of the committee … was to try to find a balance between ensuring that WSU programs could still continue to support students … while also addressing student input of lower fees due to that reduced access to services,” said Jenn Johnson, GPSA president and committee chair. 

Committee members voted unanimously to reduce the spring fee instead of refunding some of the fall fee, which has already been collected. The $25 cut is not permanent, and students will again be charged $279 in future semesters.

Groups providing more programs and services for students were prioritized for less significant cuts. 

“We were really impressed with how innovative groups are being to provide certain services and programs,” Johnson said. “We’re really hoping these fees go to a good use.”

The committee requested each group receiving S&A funding to prioritize student employment while dealing with budget cuts. 

Allocation cuts

The committee cut funding for ASWSU administration and executives by 7 percent. Last spring, the committee voted to cut their fall funding by 11.4 percent, making a total cut of 18.4 percent.

ASWSU Senate’s allocation was cut by 7 percent. With the 7.5 percent cut from last spring, the budget was cut a total of 14.5 percent.

Committee members approved a 5 percent cut for ASWSU Senate programming. This budget funds 18 committees with opportunities for student involvement, so it was not cut as drastically as other budgets. ASWSU senate programming was cut 7.5 percent by the committee last spring, making a total 12.5 percent cut for this academic year. 

Athletics faced an 8 percent cut. Combined with a 20 percent cut in the spring, Athletics saw a 28 percent total cut. The S&A Fee Committee voted in the spring to wean Athletics off S&A fees by 2026. 

The committee voted to cut the Center for Civic Engagement by 10 percent. With the 7.2 percent cut from the spring, the CCE was cut by a total of 17.2 percent.

The WSU Children’s Center was not cut because it provides childcare for students and has continued to operate at partial capacity during the pandemic. The center was also not cut last spring.

The Coalition for Women Students did not receive any cuts for the spring. The coalition’s fall budget was cut 13.8 percent by the committee last spring. 

The Compton Union Building budget was cut 8 percent because it has one of the largest allocations, and students who are not on campus are unable to use it. Last spring, the CUB was cut by 15.6 percent, making a 23.6 percent total cut.

Cougar Health Services was not cut this semester because it is providing essential services to students during the pandemic. The committee voted last spring to cut its fall budget by 7.5 percent.

The Cougar Marching Band was not cut this semester. Last semester the band was cut by 22.2 percent.

Disability Awareness, which includes the Access Center and Disabled Students and Allies Club, was not cut. Last spring, the committee cut the budget by 10 percent.

The committee cut GPSA by 7 percent. Combined with an 8.4 percent cut last spring, the budget was cut a total of 15.4 percent.

Student Disability Transportation, which is the budget that funds Cougar Accessible Transportation Services, was cut 7 percent because CATS is not operating outside of normal business hours. Many students are not on campus, so they are unable to use it. Last spring, the budget was cut 10 percent, making a 17 percent total cut.

The Student Entertainment Board was cut 5 percent. Last spring, the committee approved a 15.4 percent cut, making a 20.4 percent total cut for this academic year.

Committee members approved a 9 percent cut for Student Involvement. Combined with a 7.5 percent cut last semester, Student Involvement was cut a total of 16.5 percent.

Student media was cut 2 percent. Last semester, the committee approved a 7.5 percent cut, making a 9.5 percent total cut for the academic year.

Transit was cut 11 percent. Combined with the 12 percent cut from last spring, transit saw a 23 percent total cut this year.

The committee approved a 1 percent cut for WSU’s University Recreation because it is still providing in-person and online activities for students. UREC was cut 13 percent last semester, making a 14 percent total cut for its budget.