The Student Union Building and ethnic centers received more money, while a handful of others - including the Agora Crisis Center - left this year's $5.5 million Student Fee Review Board funding process empty-handed.
The board had to determine how to distribute undergraduate and graduate student fees among 22 campus departments that requested more than $7 million in funding. Three graduate students and four undergraduates sit on the board with two-year appointments. The graduate and undergraduate student government presidents alternate as chairpersons of the board, with GPSA President Rachel Jenks coordinating this year's funding process.
"I was impressed by how hard this committee worked," Jenks said. "It was certainly tough deciding how to allocate the funding, but I feel like we were really fair and listened to student input, as well as to requests from each department."
The Student Union Building received $689,900, the same as last year, as its recurring funding to support the resources the building provides. SUB administrators requested double that amount to help with the transition into the building once construction is complete in the fall, and the review board responded with an additional one-time allocation of $41,755.
"We recommended that the University administration help pick up the rest of the SUB's funding request that we didn't cover," Jenks said. "We did go ahead and allocate as much as we felt we could to the SUB because we feel that it really is the heart of the campus, not just for students but also for faculty, staff and even the community as well."
The ethnic centers also received increases, with all three picking up a $4,500 increase. African American Student Services was awarded $32,000, American Indian Student Services walked away with $21,500 and El Centro de la Raza received $49,600.
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"We made a concerted effort to increase funding for the ethnic centers to help them hire more tutors because that was an essential part of a renewed interest in reaching out to more students," Jenks said. "We felt that they played a very important role on campus and deserved the funding."
But departments such as the Agora Crisis Center, Direct Disability Services, Minority Recruitment and Retention and CIRT all were denied funding.
"It was a difficult process, but we just didn't have enough money to provide funds for everyone who applied," Jenks said. "The board did make recommendations to all groups involved in the process and tried to explain the reason for every decision that was made."
The Agora Crisis Center had never received funding through the process before, but requested $32,760. While the board said in its report that the center played an important role on campus, it felt the group needed to do a better job of making it clear that it was a University department, develop a better relationship with a campus department that would be more supportive and make a clearer separation between itself and Students Educating Peers About Sex - a student organization.
The board also encouraged Minority Recruitment and Retention to more clearly differentiate itself from the College Enrichment Program and work on expanding its student outreach efforts rather than focusing on local businesses.
Direct Disability Services and CIRT were encouraged to seek support from the administration for their funding, with the disability funding being denied because federal law mandated that the University fund it anyway. CIRT was told it should push for a student technology fee to offset its increasing costs.
"There already is a lot of support for a technology fee, so we felt it was pretty safe to instruct CIRT to go that route rather than seeking money through SFRB," Jenks said.
The following departments also received funding through the process:
- Athletics earned $707,100, with instructions to make sure funding earmarked for minor sports scholarships, such as those for track and field, be spent in that area and that the department work more with the marching band.
- Center for Academic Program Support, a peer tutoring program run through the General Library, received $125,800.
- The Child Care Center earned the same funding as it did last year - $164,800.
- The General Library also received the same funding as last year - $160,000 - but also picked up a one-time allocation of $48,600 in graduate student library fees that was created by students.
- KUNM was given $60,000 and a one-time allocation of $9,000 to fund a research project geared toward exploring ways to develop more student employees and programming to serve a youth audience.
- Office of International Programs and Studies was awarded $7,000 for its regular programs and a one-time allocation of $5,000 to help expand its weekly International Social Hour to help students feel welcome and connected to the University.
- Popejoy Hall was given $51,000 plus a one-time allocation of $6,000 to offset expenses of a student marketing initiative to inform more students about discounted tickets for campus theater events.
- Recreation Services received the same amount as last year - $488,200.
- The board praised Student Government Accounting in its report, lauding the department's improved accessibility, and removed the probationary status it had been on since last year.
The office received a $4,800 increase in funding, giving it a $95,280 allocation for the upcoming year.
- The Student Health Center received the same funding as last year - $2,633,800.
- The Theatre and Dance Department also picked up the same amount of funding as the previous year - $17,496.
- University Bands earned its regular allocation of $59,000 and was given a one-time allocation of $5,000 to purchase a new sousaphone.
- The Women's Resource Center picked up a $916 increase to offset increased operating expenses, pushing its allocation to $32,249.