Group begins fees allocation process

Brett Knapp

Campus organizations and departments learned Tuesday how much money they’ll probably receive from student services fees next year.
The Student Services Fees Committee released its recommendations after nearly three weeks of deliberations and budget presentations. There were a few big winners and some that didn’t fare so well, but most groups will receive about what they asked for.
“This was a very typical year,” said June Nobbe, the adviser for the fees committee.
In all, the committee is recommending that groups receive nearly $13.7 million, about 2 percent more than groups will receive this year.
Students taking six or more credits per quarter this year are required to pay $146.45 each term to fund non-academic organizations. The recommendations for next year add up to $149.41 per student each quarter.
The committee will hold public hearings next week to listen to students who wish to speak for or against a group’s proposed fee income.
The committee will make any changes it deems necessary and forward the recommendations to the Office of the Vice President for Student Development and Athletics. This office will also hold public hearings, but final approval must be granted by the Board of Regents.
Nobbe said administrators rarely make changes in the recommendations. “They like to go with what the students recommend,” she said.
Some groups receive a special fee that is only assessed to portions of the student body. For example, only undergraduates pay the fee for the Minnesota Student Association.
The Coalition–University of Minnesota Coalition for Higher Education received the biggest proposed increase at 58.9 percent over what it is expected to receive this year.
Another group that received a large recommended increase, the Minneapolis Student Unions, will likely get a 37.7 percent increase in funding next year. About $8.67 of each students’ contribution would go to the unions; this year, students are giving about $6.30 apiece.
Dennis Olsen, the Minneapolis Student Unions’ assistant director, said the additional funding acts as a starting point for the renovation of Coffman Memorial Union.
The additional funds represent 1 percent of the $30 million projected cost of the renovation.
The money will be used to begin the planning process for the necessary work.
“This represents a new beginning for Coffman and the student union,” Olsen said.
Other groups, such as the Child Care Consortium, received none of the funding they requested. The consortium includes the Como Community Child Care Agency and Commonwealth Community Child Care.
The 89 cents per student requested by the consortium would have amounted to about $75,000 for the year.
Ted Jennings, an administrator for the Como center, said he believes the denial may be because of erroneous budget projections that the consortium would have a $76,000 surplus this year.
“This is not correct,” he said. “We’re not going to have that kind of money in the bank at the end of the year.
Another group that was cut completely is Students For Family Values. The group will receive about $10,000 by the end of this year. It requested more than three times that amount for next year.
“We didn’t feel that, for the money we were giving them, that they were providing high quality service for the students,” said Gregory Lauer, chairman of the sub-committee that considered the group’s request. “We felt the money could be better spent elsewhere.”