Student Association leaders said they will have an additional $57,000 to allocate to student organizations next year after ensuring a summer tuition fee will become a permanent part of the SA’s budget.
The SA currently collects $1 per credit hour from all students for the fall and spring semesters, up to $15 per student. Students enrolled in summer courses also pay $1 per credit to the University, but the SA did not initially receive the money in the past.
“It’s not that the SA is now charging students when it wasn’t before,” SA President Phil Robinson said. “The SA was not receiving the ‘dollar-per-credit-hour’ fee (that students) were already paying to the University (for the summer session).”
The SA reclaimed this year’s summer registration funds at the beginning of the fall semester to make up for a $50,000 shortfall the SA faced in September.
At the end of the fiscal year in July, the SA said it had a $7,000 surplus, but the University administration said the SA was more than $50,000 down, according to a September Hatchet article.
SA leaders said accounting officials attributed the debt to 17 student groups spending more money than the SA gave them.
Next year’s SA budget will be $456,981. The bulk of the increase will come from the money from the summer fee, Robinson said.
Sen. Omar Woodard (U-ESIA) said there were some “technical difficulties” in the initial implementation of the fee. Woodard is chair of the Senate Rules Committee.
“David Burt’s administration negotiated the fee with the University two years ago, but when the fee began to be collected under Roger Kapoor’s administration last year, the funds collected during the summer were not turned over,” Woodard said. “(Robinson) noticed the problem and took care of it.”
Woodard added that he was “very pleased” with the development.
Some students said they hope organizations receiving additional funding will provide more interesting events on campus.
“I’d like to see the SA use the money to fund more activities throughout campus,” sophomore Kasia Bulatewicz said. “It would be great to have more University-wide events like the freshman block party that bring students together.”
Some other students said the SA needs to be careful how it allocates the funds and that they do not want to pay any extra money for summer courses if it will not be put to good use.
“What is (the SA) going to do with that money?” sophomore Daphne Watkins said. “How are they going to improve our lives as students? That’s what I’d like to know.”