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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Board hears student voice on fees

The Student Services Fee Advisory Board outlined its goals of impact, integrity and excellence in allocating funds in its meeting Friday at Old Main.

“”The purpose of this meeting was to update the community on the business that has been going on,”” said Matthew Totlis, advisory board chair and mathematics senior.

In his chair report, Totlis discussed the three goals of the board, which forms recommendations to the vice president for Student Affairs about allocations of the student services fee. For its first goal of impact, Totlis said the board created two directives: “”impacting all students through its recommendations and responding to student-identified needs through the annual survey.””

He said he hopes to accomplish the second goal of integrity through transparency of the board’s processes. For example, each department or organization that receives funding is required to submit two progress reports during the year describing how they are using the money.

The board’s final goal is excellence. Totlis said the board will strive to make decisions “”fairly and wisely.””

“”Student monies are not taken lightly or for granted,”” he said.

A handful of people attended the meeting, but Totlis said he was not surprised by the low turnout.

“”Being that this was a Friday evening made it very difficult to get students and directors to attend,”” he said.

Lon Huber, a graduate student in the MBA program, said he attended the forum because students should be involved in the process.

“”I think it’s important to show your support for this initiative and to also make sure that student money is spent wisely,”” he said.

Huber said he would like to see some of the money to go toward sustainability.

“”I’d like to see more into energy efficiency and renewable energy that can actually save the campus money down the road,”” he said.

The Student Services fee has been in existence for three years, and the Student Services Fee Advisory Board has overseen the fee for two of those years.

The board considers funding applications based on results from an annual student survey. It then makes recommendations to Melissa Vito, vice president of Student Affairs, who has final say over the allocation of the fee, Totlis said.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council presidents each appoint three members from their respective organizations to serve on the board. The current board also appoints five members from the student body through an application process. These members serve on the board for one academic year.

In addition to the 11 voting members, the board has four advisory members and two administrative advisers.

The board will begin to review applications Jan. 15. Five weeks later, the board will make its recommendations to Vito. Her final decisions will be made the week of Feb. 22.

Totlis said the board will continue to hold open meetings regarding the allocation of the fee money in February, March and April.

For more information, students can visit www.studentaffairs.arizona.edu/servicesfee/.

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