Alli Rosenthal: Be more financially responsible with student funds

This Thursday students will vote on a student fee hike.

Instead of paying $1.50 per credit hour, incoming students, starting with the Class of 2017, will see a 25-cent increase each year until the fee is $3. While that may not seem like much, in six years, students will pay a $90 student fee each semester, instead of the $45 per semester we pay today.

Suddenly, $3 sounds like a lot of money.

Student organizations already receive almost $1 million in funding. Instead of asking for more money from students, the Student Association needs to finance organizations more sensibly. There are ways to capitalize on the funding we have without forcing students to pay more.

We don’t need to increase the student fee. We just need to be more judicious when it comes to allocating funds.

While many on the Senate have posited that EMeRG does not receive adequate funding, they continue to allot $35,000 each to the College Democrats and College Republicans each semester. This is a lot of money for a single club, even if it has a large membership, considering some of the funds could be redistributed to other organizations.

The SA should aim to create umbrella groups sorted by organization type. For instance, if there are at least a dozen performing groups on campus, these groups could form an umbrella organization. The Student Theatre Council already acts as support for on-campus theater organizations, and the SA could use this council as a central way to receive and then distribute allocations. From there, the council could give the funding it receives to individual theater groups.

The SA already does this for a multitude of organizations, including the Panhellenic Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Student Bar Association, which houses 56 different student-run groups.

The SA has said that 100 percent of revenue gained from the fees will go back to students. But students shouldn’t have to pay more than they already do for other student organizations that will never have an impact on their own college experiences. Students who do not belong to or support certain organizations may not feel like their money is, in fact, coming back to them.

In addition to the general SA fees, many student organizations also have membership fees, which help to support their programs. A higher student fee would become another burden.

Before students agree to double what they already pay, the SA needs to figure out how to spend money more wisely.

Alli Rosenthal, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.

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