Fee fine fo funds: WSU’s Student Fee Recommendation Committee

The Student Fee Recommendation Committee held their second meeting of the semester in the Shepherd Union on Jan. 27 and discussed the state of student fees for the upcoming academic year.

The committee is made up of 10 WSU students and two full-time faculty members and serves to divide student fees among different university departments.

“The main difference between student fees and tuition is that student fees are not for curriculum or instructional use,” Daniel Killcrease, executive director of Student Affairs, said.

In two upcoming meetings, the SFRC will discuss dividing the fees among departments.

“We have $100,000 in one-time funding that we are allocating this year,” Kilcrease said. “There’s about $175,000 worth of requests, so there will be some deliberation with that.”

Fourteen departments from the university have applied for funding from the committee. Several, such as Disability Services and Studio 76, were requesting funding to pay student staff.

“We rely heavily on hiring students,” Shawna Werner, a representative of Disability Services, said.

Representatives from each department were given seven minutes of presentation time during the meeting to explain what they plan to do with the funding and how it would benefit WSU students. After each presentation, SFRC had seven minutes to ask questions.

“Hopefully, you can see how important this is to help students actually stay in school and to get to graduation,” Katharine French-Fuller, a representative of the Weber Cares Pantry, said during her presentation.

The pantry, run by the Center for Community Engaged Learning, asked the committee for $10,000. The money would be used to provide “culturally appropriate food” and continue regular pantry maintenance.

“It’s an awesome opportunity, and it’s really nice to apply what I’m learning into an actual department,” Emily Sorenson, a student member of the SFRC, said.

This is Sorenson’s second year on the committee. She values her position and is committed to being an advocate for WSU students.

“We are here to voice student opinions,” Sorenson said. “It’s our money, so that’s why I really like to be a part of this.”

Not all universities have a student-involved process for the allocation of student fees.

“What we want to do as an institution is say, ‘the students have a voice in where their student fee funds go,’” Kilcrease said.

The next SFRC meeting is open to the public and will be held Feb. 3 at 12:30 p.m. in room 404A in the Shepherd Union building with options to attend in-person or virtually.