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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Survey to assess student fee

    The Student Services Fee logo on the door of Core restaurant represents one of the many places on campus where money from student fees has been used.
    The Student Services Fee logo on the door of Core restaurant represents one of the many places on campus where money from student fees has been used.

    If you looked closely at your tuition and fees transactions for this semester, you probably noticed a charge labeled “”Student Services Fee.””

    Enacted in the fall of 2008, the Student Services Fee has gone toward several student priorities, such as more exterior and interior seating at the Student Union Memorial Center. Even the Savvy Student $3 lunches available on Wednesdays are supported by the fee, according to the Student Affairs Web site.

    Stephen Bieda, president of Graduate Professional Student Council and an atmospheric sciences graduate student, said a survey was sent out via e-mail to determine students’ priorities regarding the student fee in the next fiscal year.

    “”So what this survey is going to do is to check to see if the priorities have changed, what everybody feels is going (on) about the service. If it’s really good, if it really sucks – I don’t like it, or I do like it,”” Bieda said.

    The survey’s goal is to evaluate the needs of different student groups at the UA, he said.

    “”What we’re going to do is sample the population based upon their class – freshman, sophomore, junior, senior-we’re going to look at that individually because even within the undergraduate population, there’s different interest,”” Bieda said. “”There’s going to be a breakout group on the other side for graduate and professional students to see where our priorities are.””

    The goal of the survey is to help the Student Services Fee Advisory Board determine what student priorities are, which will guide the next steps they take, he said.

    The board is comprised of seven undergraduate students, four graduate students as well as a few non-voting members, Bieda said.

    “”They’re basically a board that hears different requests from any aspect of Student Affairs,”” said Tommy Bruce, president of Associated Students of the University of Arizona. “”Student Affairs kind of encompasses every aspect of student life, from the student unions to the campus Recreation Center to tutoring services.””

    According to a document posted on the Student Affairs Web site, the estimated total collected for the first year the student fee was allocated was $1,480,000, based on 37,000 students,

    According to the document, $250,000 went to the Savvy Student $3 lunches, $100,000 went to SafeRide for an expansion and extension of their operating hours. Over $285,000 went to funding new job opportunities on campus for the next three years and $50,000 went to increasing the availability of free legal advice.

    Students interested in seeing the 2008 Student Services Fee breakdown may view the the document at http://studentaffairs.arizona.edu/servicesfee/index.php.

    According to the document on the Web site, a survey of over 6,000 students was used to determine how to spend the money this past fiscal year.

    “”The Student Services Fee is meant to supplement and help make better the quality of life for students on campus,”” Bieda said. The fee is “”100 percent decided and managed by students.””

    Though the survey is currently being administered, Bruce said it’s still too early to know whether or not the Student Services Fee will be affected in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

    “”I mean right now, it’s really, really early to tell what’s going to happen with all the tuition and fees relative to the budget cuts from the state budget allocations, or lack thereof,”” Bruce said. “”The reality is, everything’s on the table. So, you know, every possible fee, every possible tuition increase, it’s all on the table as an option,”” he added.

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