Groups await fee request decisions

Thirty-two campus organizations asked for nearly $2 million this year.

Elizabeth Cook

Student groups and administrative organizations have submitted their fee requests, and now it’s time to wait and see how much they’ll get.

For the 2007-08 academic year, 32 student organizations have requested more than $1.7 million, while nine administrative units, which include Boynton Health Services and The Minnesota Daily, have asked for more than $22.9 million.

That makes the total request $24.6 million, roughly $300,000 more than last year.

Boynton requested $7.3 million and the Department of Recreational Sports asked for $4.3 million. The Minnesota Daily requested $550,000.

Student groups also requested fees, including La Raza ($42,600), the Black Student Union ($65,000) and the Queer Student Cultural Center ($40,000).

Members of the Student Services Fees Committee, which heard fee requests, will be submitting preliminary responses to adviser Erich Martin on Monday to evaluate.

In March, the entire committee will submit final recommendations to Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart, but the groups won’t know for certain if they will receive all or part of the funding until the Board of Regents approves them in June.

Even though eligible groups may request money, it doesn’t mean they will get it.

“They may ask for a certain amount, and they may not be able to justify it,” said Scott Johnson, the committee chair for the student group portion of the Student Service Fees Committee.

Mus’ab Husaini, computer engineering senior, said the Al-Madinah Cultural Center put in a request for $64,440 to “promote and increase the diversity on campus by creating understanding of the very diverse cultures of Islam.”

Of all the groups that submitted requests, half asked for less than $30,000.

Sammie Senyana, a finance and economics junior, said the African Student Association requested $14,000 to bring an “African feeling to campus.”

African Night, the group’s yearly celebration, costs $5,000, she said. Senyana estimated the cost of just traditional African food to be around $2,500.

Initial recommendations for administrative units will also be made next week.

In the case of Boynton, Director Edward Ehlinger said the money doesn’t just go to those students paying for University health care.

University students with out-of-state insurance can go to Boynton without having to pay a deductible because of the fees, he said.

Money also goes to health promotions on campus, including sexual health awareness, alcohol awareness and health advocates in residence halls.

“Every student benefits from the public health and health promotion we do on campus,” he said.