Editorial: Fee increases don’t help students

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Illustration by Michael Lue

The way student money is being allocated is possibly changing and it may not be in the best interests of students.

   Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, visited Student Government Association (SGA) during its Friday senate meeting to discuss his proposal of increasing student fees from $120 to $140 per year. While this may not appear to be a large amount of money, when you consider Chapman’s 5,300 enrollment, it becomes much more drastic.

Each year, student fees are distributed between SGA, University Program Board (UPB), The Panther and Chapman Radio. SGA currently provides funding for other student groups, but one of the points in the new proposal is allocating $74,200 to academic clubs, honor societies and other clubs each year. These organizations would normally approach SGA for money.

Allocating money to underfunded groups on campus is an excellent idea. However, these groups should continue to approach SGA for money, not rely on campus administrators to allocate money to them.

Read “Dean proposes increase in student fees” in NEWS.

The reason for allocating money to SGA is so senators can work on projects to enhance students’ experiences at Chapman, advocate for underprivileged groups and allocate money to campus groups.

Under Price’s current proposal, SGA’s budget will increase from $299,218 to $314,180. However, the number of groups it is solely funding is decreasing. What does SGA propose to do with this extra money, in addition to the surplus it already has in its budget?

When approaching SGA for funding, organizations must fill out paperwork explaining how they are planning to use the money. While this process is tedious and can sometimes lead to third degree-type questioning from senators, it provides a necessary student check on organizations. Where will this check come from under Price’s proposal?

He plans to hire graduate assistants to offer club advising and assist academic clubs in spending the money they are allocated. Not only will this cost students $24,000 per year, but it will also put the power of deciding where money is spent into the hands of three people employed by administration.

The whole point of creating SGA was to allow students to decide how student money is spent. Instead of blindly agreeing with this proposal, we encourage the members of SGA to critically think about this proposal and discuss how it will affect all groups on campus and student power as a whole.

 

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