The Students’ Association government is discussing plans to raise the student activities fee for next year. Increased budgets from student groups have caused the SA to propose the fee increase from the current $185 to a yet undisclosed amount.
Preliminary budgets have been submitted, and after the final budgets are received on March 4, the Students’ Association Appropriations Committee will examine the proposals and determine the distribution of funds, including how much additional funding will be required.
Last semester, the SA announced there was a budget surplus, which is now significantly depleted. “Most budgets have been increasing,” SAAC Treasurer and sophomore Carolyn Kaminski said. “We don’t have a big surplus anymore.”
The fee proposal was raised to Dean of The College William Green by SA President and senior Lonny Mallach early this week.
Mallach commented on the probability of the fee raise being implemented. “The probability [of the increase] is very good. The question is how much,” he said.
With the budget surplus down to a minimum, SAAC feels a fee raise will decrease the amount of cuts which will have to be made. Students asking for increased funding has also led to the proposition.
“We’re anticipating a raise in budgets,” Kaminski said. “The fee will need to be raised for [groups] to have the funding for all the programs.”The fee raise will benefit students as well, providing for programs which would not be able to occur without additonal student funding.
“Groups will have more opportunities to be able to afford more programs,” she said.
Mallach also agreed. “It is both necessary and good,” he said. “Raising the fee will allow us to make more money and it will allow groups to expand their programming and fund new organizations.”There is also a supplemental fund, which is set aside specifically for unforeseen events which need SA funding.
However, even this could be affected by next semester’s requested budget increases.
“If the budgets go over, there might not be as much supplemental money,” Kaminski said.
Student groups submit budgets to their controllers, who look over the budgets and submit them to SAAC, who also examines them and makes final decisions of funding allocation.
SAAC and the SA feel students do not currently have issue with paying the current fee, and will not be opposed to the proposed fee raise.
“Most students haven’t been aware of the money they pay for the student activities fee,” Kaminski said.
“With the amount of money students pay to the school I don’t know if the amount will be so great that it will stand out.”
Students did not seem to mind the proposed raise, but some displayed apprehension about responsible allotment of the funds.
“I think it’s fine,” junior Jessica Marcinkevage said. “I’m in an SA funded group so I know the importance of funds.”
Freshman Katie Grey had reservations. “I think it’s fine, but the school has a lot of money already,” she said. “I would hope if [UR is] charging more money, they will be allocating it appropriately. I hope we’ll be able to see the changes.”
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