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Student “dues” and “due nots”

Part of each student’s tuition goes to the Services and Activities Committee (S&A Committee). There are two S&A committees on which students are required to sit. One deals primarily with allocating resources to facilities and operations on campus. The other committee works to improve campus life by awarding money to organizations and students that apply for funding. This committee is chaired by six student representatives, and overseen by four administrative faculty members. According to their guidelines, these fees may only be used to “support non-academic student activities, programs, and projects on the WSU Vancouver campus (e.g. student government, performances, speakers, services, facilities and equipment for students).”

Many organizations that applied for funding this year were not given the increased amount that they asked for from last year, or saw their previous years budget reduced. According to Sean Philbrook, the student chair of the S&A Committee, “When the S&A committee was making the decisions as to how much funds were allocated to each budget request, we decided we would look at how much funds were spent last year, and had they used all of the allocated funds? Was there any rollover? Can we justify an expansion of their funds? Which backed with statistics, was really the core of how we made our decisions.” The decisions were made were more difficult because WSU Vancouver has not raised the S&A fees that students pay in tuition for “three years now” according to Philbrook.

A project the S&A Committee has been working to fund is the Student Life building. Philbrook said, “it was estimated that it will cost 14 million dollars back around 2008, which since then a couple hundred thousand dollars every year has been allocated to it. We have about two and a half million dollars in there right now.” This year, the S&A Committee decided to put $300,000 toward the student life building fund, which was a “majority decision made by the student chairs on the committee” Philbrook said.

The stated purpose of the committee is to use the funds allocated to them through student tuition, to fund services that ultimately give back to the students. They ask the student body where they would like to see the funds invested. The VanCougar, KOUGRadio, ASWSUV, Facilities, and Diversity Team are some of the organizations that receive funding from the committee. These organizations receive funding because they are actively promoting student interests. It is not, however, only student led organizations that are able to receive funding; individual students also have the opportunity to approach the committee and request funds for events or projects that will give back to the student body. Though the time for making such requests is over for this year, the next year always offers another chance to make a case.

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