Student Senate supports budget outlining a portion of the segregated fee for next academic year

The budget now seeks approval from the chancellor and Board of Regents

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Full-time students will pay an estimated $1,451.48 as part of an added fee to their bills for the 2016-17 academic year, Director of Finance Mary-Laura Samples said.

Chancellor James C. Schmidt and the UW-System Board of Regents must also approve the non-allocable portion of the segregated fee, Samples said. Senate approved the allocable portion of the fee two weeks ago.

The non-allocable fee helps to fund campus units such as athletics, counseling services, student health services, intramurals and organized activities, according to the budget document. Samples presented the proposed budget at Monday’s Student Senate meeting.

Director Samples or a designee from the Finance Commission met with each unit that receives funding from the non-allocable segregated fee.

Each unit has a student advisory group, which must include a Senate Finance Commission member, Samples said. The group is also composed of stakeholders the unit chooses to include. There are no specifics on who must make up the advisory group, she said.

Samples said involving student voices and opinions when crafting budgets is the most important part of her job as director of finance.

“It’s our fees that we are paying and I think it’s really awesome the kind of input we can have on it,” Samples said.
The proposed segregated fee, which includes the cost of textbook rental, shows a decrease of $9.47 from the previous year, according to the document.

The budget proposed a 6.52 percent decrease to intramurals due to an increased fee students pay to participate on an intramural team, Samples said.

Three students from Recreation Advisory Council presented their budget discussion to the Finance Commission, Andy Jepsen, interim director of Recreation & Sports Facilities said. The group covers areas of the University Recreation and Sports facilities, including intramurals and consists of 14 of their student employees.

Part of the fee students pay would go toward Counseling Services, with an increase of less than dollar from the previous year to fund travel costs to a conference that would improve the staff’s service to students, Samples said.
Director Katy McGarry, who has served on the Finance Commission this semester, said she wanted to emphasize the importance of the student involvement in determining the budget.

“We even had a group of students come in who had questions, which was really cool,” McGarry said. “I really enjoyed that presentation.”

The resolution in support of the budget passed 28-0-3.

In other Senate news
The Intergovernmental Affairs Commission staff will be trained as special registration deputies for the April 5 election. The commission will work with College Republicans and College Democrats to register students from March 2-9, Director McGarry said.