Reactions were mixed as the University’s Student Services Fees Committee announced their first set of recommendations.
The Administrative Fees Committee recommended big cuts to Boynton Health Service but gave increases to the Recreational Sports Department and Radio K.
Andy Pomroy, member of the Administrative Fees Committee, said it recommended almost $700,000 less than Boynton requested because of the group’s large reserves.
The committee honored Radio K’s request for a $30,000 increase to accommodate the radio station’s need for staff after its recent addition of an FM signal allowing it to broadcast 24 hours per day.
Pomroy said the committee also gave Recreational Sports a $450,000 increase from last year. One hundred thousand dollars of that is a base increase, and $350,000 is to offset maintenance costs.
Pomroy said the administration normally pays for maintenance but has told Recreational Sports that groups must pay half of the $1 million per year cost.
Martin Wingard, Administrative Fees Committee chairman, said Recreational Sports must pay half of the $3.2 million maintenance project over three years.
“It’s going to be an uphill battle for Recreational Sports,” Wingard said.
Six groups that did not receive fees funding last year were denied funding this year, including the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, Rhetoric’s Association of Student Technical Communicators, Student Activities Office, Friends of Israel, The Wake and the Pre-Veterinary Club.
Omri Fine, Friends of Israel president, said the group wanted the money to fund events and hire a staff person for their office.
Subcommittee members said student fees do not fund nationality groups and that Friends of Israel overlapped services with Hillel, the University’s Jewish student center, for which the committee recommended $15,750.
Fine said he thought his group was different.
“It’s like saying Christians and Americans are the same people,” he said.
Fine said if the recommendations do not change, the group will continue to apply for grants and try to find funding from other sources.
The committee recommended that several groups receive less funding than the previous year.
The committee recommended that The Minnesota Daily receive $401,300, which is $47,579 less than it received this year.
The committee recommended the Disabled Student Cultural Center receive almost $16,000 less than its requested $33,630. The subcommittee’s majority rationale said members believed the center lacked programming targeted toward spreading disability awareness.
Jeremy Heyer, associate coordinator for the center, said he thought the center spread awareness by working with students.
He said the lack of funding would not allow the group to hire a full-time office person or to accommodate accessible equipment for everyone.
The current fees breakdown per student is $272.07, approximately $8 less than last year.
Brian Wiedenmeier, Student Service Fees Committee chairman, said deciding which groups to fund was a tough decision.
“If you gave every student group fees money, the fee would be a thousand dollars,” he said.
Wiedenmeier said he didn’t know how much the recommendations would change, since everyone except him was new to the committee.
“Generally, if we get a lot of people to turn out, it can have some effect,” he said. “It’s always good to hear what the public has to say.”
Public hearings will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Emily Ayshford welcomes comments at [email protected]