Student services fees supply students with a variety of opportunities

At Boynton Health Service, Director of Operations Gailon Roen holds a gigantic pack of papers that detail how Boynton will receive $5.8 million directly from students this year.
The money comes from student services fees, a quarterly charge of $160.23 that students taking more than six credits must pay.
But the cost goes toward groups and services University students can take advantage of. From movies and programs at Coffman Union to college music on Radio K, the fees give students many things to choose from.
“Student services fees is where the students tax themselves,” Roen said. “There are not a lot of things students can impact on campus, but this is one thing they can.”
The Student Services Fees Committee, made up of 12 students and six faculty and staff members, makes recommendations for funding. But it is a long road for groups to receive student money, and not every group is eligible.
First, the University’s Board of Regents adopted minimum requirements for applying in 1987 that require groups applying to have students participating in how the fee money is spent. These groups must also agree to an audit and demonstrate financial accountability.
Secondly, each group seeking student fees must submit a written presentation, complete with a budget, to the Student Services Fees Committee which makes recommendations as to how much the groups will receive.
“(The committee) can allocate anything they want,” said Brandon Small, chief financial officer of the Minnesota Student Association. “But usually they use the proposals the groups give them as a tool.”
The student services fees are based on enrollment. For example, of the $160.23 each student pays, Boynton gets the biggest share with $63.79 per student. The fees committee then multiplies that amount by the estimated enrollment for the year, which is 85,000.
But for the money, students are entitled to services at the general medical clinic, women’s clinic, HIV testing and many other services.
Recreational Sports is another group that receives a big portion, $30.03, from the fees. For that, students get free access to gyms and many other programs.
But Dan Allen, associate director of Recreational Sports, said that amount will drop after the new St. Paul Gym and the Recreation Center are paid off.