What will be with student fees

Rebecca Baggett

Weber State University’s Student Fee Recommendation Committee is getting ready for their annual meetings to sift through potential recipients of funds drawn from the pool of student fees, part of a yearly process to determine how the funds from student fees will be distributed.

The committee is made up of 12 members and is chaired by Student Body President Ben Ferney. Students are picked for the committee through an application process.

“We give control to the students,” Daniel Kilcrease, executive director of Student Affairs Auxiliaries, said, in reference to the committee.

Other public universities in Utah provide clarity and transparency when it comes to the usage of student fees. Although WSU provides a way for students to participate in the deliberation, Weber State has yet to provide a clear and easily accessible breakdown of how each student’s fees are being used.

Committee members receive training, and each December, the departments hoping to receive funds begin to submit requests. In January, the departments present to the committee. The committee then makes recommendations to the President’s Council. The Board of Trustees makes the final decision.

“[It’s an] open process; any student can apply to be on the committee, and all the meetings are open,” Kilcrease said.

WSU has a Student Fee Recommendation Committee that consists of students and faculty to aid in making decisions about dividing student fees.
WSU has a Student Fee Recommendation Committee that consists of students and faculty to aid in making decisions about dividing student fees. Photo credit: Blythe Evans

If measured by number of students, Weber State is within the top five largest public universities in Utah, along with the University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Utah State University. USU, UVU and U of U share a commonality — each provides a statement about student fees and a numeric breakdown of how student fees are being used.

These schools’ information about student fees can be easily found simply through a simple Google search. This information for WSU is not found through the school’s own search engine or Google.

UVU’s official website states that “revenue from general student fees is used to pay for programs, facilities and services that are determined to be essential for the enrichment and broadening of opportunities for UVU students.”

USU provides students with a system that automatically calculates where the funds from their fees are going based on the number of credit hours they are enrolled in.

Student fees from a full-time student, 12-18 credit hours, would be dispersed between multiple programs — $113.28 to Athletics, $36.98 to Campus Recreation, $10.58 to Music & Theater and a few others. Each fee on the list also has a brief explanation. For example, technology receives $56.72 per student and is used to provide “full access to 12 computer labs and the multimedia center.”

Tuition and fees are needed to keep universities running, and WSU’s neighboring schools are able to provide transparent and accessible information to students about how the funds from their fees are benefiting the school. WSU does not yet provide that information.