GAPSA to adjust its fees request

For 2012-13, GAPSA received $392,126 from the fees committee.

Tyler Gieseke

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly discussed at its meeting Monday how it will emphasize its member councils’ programming in this year’s request for funds from the Student Services Fees Committee.

The 15 voting members of the SSFC are responsible for distributing student services fees to student groups and administrative units at the University of Minnesota. For 2012-13, the SSFC allocated nearly $29 million in student services fees to almost 90 student groups and University organizations.

GAPSA distributes the majority of the fees it receives to its member councils, which include the Council of Graduate Students, School of Dentistry Council of Students and the Medical Student Council, said Kevin Lang, GAPSA vice president of finance.

In the past, he said, the student fees application hasn’t been strong in conveying what the councils do with those dollars, he said.

This year he wants the councils to be more specific in the types of programming provided with the funding allocated. These accounts will be included in the narrative GAPSA provides in its request to the SSFC.

GAPSA doesn’t usually receive all the funds that it requests from the SSFC.

“Not even close,” Lang said.

For 2012-13, GAPSA received $392,126 from the SSFC — almost $13,000 less than it had requested. It was the ninth-largest allocation of fees.

In 2011-12, it received $369,450.

If GAPSA was able to receive more fees through the requests adjustment, Lang said, the money would go to further the programs supported by its councils.

Funding for GAPSA comes from a GAPSA fee paid by graduate and professional students — separate from the student services fee — although its fee is allocated by the SSFC. For 2012-13, graduate students paid about $12 each semester, about 50 cents more than the previous year.

Of the nine voting members on the student groups SSFC, two are graduate or professional students.

“Our students pay the fee. Why are these undergraduates giving us permission to spend it or not spend it?” GAPSA President Brittany Edwards said. “It’s just a weird thing.”

Edwards said there should be a subcommittee or a separate committee of graduate and professional students that examined the allocation of the
GAPSA fee.