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What are segregated fees?
Tuition is something with which every student should be concerned, as college is a major investment into one’s future. It is certainly worthwhile then to fully understand not only how much money one is paying, but also understanding where one’s money is going. An unfortunately little known portion of tuition each student pays here at UW-Parkside goes to so-called segregated fees. But what exactly are these fees and why does every student have to pay them?
Simply put, segregated fees are the percentage of tuition that is allocated to each student organization at the UW-Parkside campus; however, the athletic department, Student Activity Center, Parkside Student Government (PSG), and health services are also funded using this money. All the funds a student-run organization receives on campus for a given year come from these segregated fees. If an organization on campus desires money beyond what has been allocated to them, they must raise funds themselves.
Segregated fees are not doled out equally to each student organization, each organization is instead awarded a different percentage of the total segregated fees collected from each full-time student who pays tuition to the school. The amount of funding each organization receives range from the mere eleven cents the Ministry of Fiber Arts receives per student paying tuition to the $28.99 of each student’s tuition that funds the SAC. Additionally, the athletic departments receive more funds on average than most student organizations.
The Funding Process
Respecting the student-run nature of the organizations they fund, the Segregated User Fee Advisory Committee (SUFAC) is a semi-independent part of the PSG. SUFAC is responsible for determining the portion of tuition that comprises segregated fees and for deciding what portion of the fees goes to each organization. SUFAC is composed of five senators and two students-at-large that are voted in by PSG members; the president may also appoint a member, the speaker of the house is on the committee, and there is the director of the committee who acts as its leader. All members are obligated to reveal conflicts of interest.
The committee’s process for determining an organization’s funding involves consideration of each organization’s membership and related expenses. Additionally, every student organization and athletic department has the opportunity to give a presentation to SUFAC to further inform the committee on any information pertinent to its funding. SUFAC hears all organizations’ presentations before deliberating matters of individual funding to ensure that each organization is equally considered; however, if an organization does not schedule a presentation by the end of February, it may be subject to a reduction in funding.
The Significance of Segregated Fees
SUFAC director, Luis Moreno, assured The Ranger News that these funds were collected and allocated fairly and put to good use by the committee. He also stressed the importance and utility of the contingency fund—a pool of money set aside to fund new organizations that may not have been considered in the funding process—and he encourages students to fully utilize these resources to make the campus as lively and engaging as possible.
SUFAC meets every Wednesday in the Poplar Room (Student Center 127). Additional information regarding segregated fees and the breakdown of individual organizations’ funding can be found at the UW-Parkside website under the cashier’s office in the campus life section.