Student groups are relieved by initial fee recommendations

Student Groups Fees Committee notified some student groups of its initial fees recommendations.

Every semester, each University of Minnesota student is charged $336.31, and while most students might not pay attention to where that money goes, student group leaders feverishly wait this time of year to know how much of the $25 million pie theyâÄôll get , as determined by the Student Groups Fees Committee. Over the weekend, the 13-member Fees Committee notified some student groups of the initial recommendation for the next academic year. The Black Student Union , for example, was notified that it was initially approved to receive $55,000, and the Al-Madinah Cultural Center was told it could receive $60,000. Although the recommendations are lower than the amount requested, both organizations said they are satisfied. Assistant secretary of Al-Madinah, Samia Hessein , said the group expected some budget cuts due the current economic situation, but overall is content. âÄúI think we really stick to our goals,âÄù Hussein said. âÄúWe have everything organized to satisfy our mission statement, and we keep good accounts of how we use our money.âÄù With so many groups requesting a portion of student fees, however, itâÄôs inevitable that some organizations will get slighted. The African Student Association went through that experience a year ago, and President Sammie Senyana said the group is feeling the repercussions of it this year. Last year, ASA requested $25,000 in student fees, but were denied any funding, which the Fees Committee said was because its application was incomplete. âÄúLast year was a tough year, they were really strictâÄù Senyana said. Senyana said the ASA overestimated how much it needed last year, but has learned from its mistakes by seeking advice from the Student Unions and Activities Office and viewing other groupsâÄô applications for comparison. For next year, the group applied for $14,000 in funding, and has been initially approved for $10,000 . âÄúWeâÄôre not disappointed, weâÄôre happy to have anything,âÄù Senyana said. MSA President Mark Nagel said the Fees Committee takes many issues into account when deciding the recommendations, including past fiscal responsibility, how events are run, whether they adhere to their mission statement, and how they benefit students. SUA Coordinator Erich Martin said all applications were looked over thoroughly. These are only initial recommendations, and are subject to change until final recommendations are made on March 23. The full list of initial recommendations for all student groups will be made public on March 2.