Admin units hear inital fees recommendations

In total, the Student Services Fees Committee recommended doling out $29 million in student fees.

by Jenna Wilcox

The Student Services Fees Committee released its recommendations on Monday for administrative units, and two of the six organizations requesting student fees learned they wouldn’t be granted their full request.

The committee’s initial recommendations for administrative units and student groups now totals more than $29 million in fees money.

Administrative units are larger fees-receiving units that include the Learning Abroad Center, the Minnesota Daily, Radio K, Northrop Concerts and Lectures/Summer Cultural Programs, Student Conflict Resolution Center and Boynton Health Service.

The committee recommended that Northrop programming receive no funds. It was defunded by the 2010-11 fees committee because it felt the program didn’t impact enough students.

Northrop programming then asked to be reconsidered and were approved for $56,000 — $19,000 less than the original request — for the summer of 2012.

In its rationale last year, the committee said there were “missed opportunities in relationship to marketing, sponsorship and alternative funding sources” and that there needed to be a better way to “benefit the students that are paying the fee.”

Because some administrative units apply for a two-year period, the program could reapply this year for fiscal year 2014. But once again, it was recommended no funding.

The committee also recommended a $200,000 “budget sweep” of the Minnesota Daily’s fees request due to its large financial reserves.

According to the recommendations, the Daily has long-term reserves as well as more than $400,000 in a short-term account.

The student-run newspaper also has a technology replacement policy that replaces one-half of the organization’s equipment every three years. But the committee said the Daily should instead spread that cost over multiple years.

The sweep would require the organization to partially empty its reserves but would still leave enough for a technology replacement policy and investments in staff, according to the recommendations.

The committee also recommended the Daily move its long-term investment account from its current home that is “vulnerable to market conditions” to a more stable form.

According to the report, the Daily lost more than $200,000 in 2008 because of the market.