The Arizona Desert Lamp

Pigs at the trough – a rundown of the SSF funding proposals

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 13 April 2009

Pigs at TroughEarlier today, the University of Arizona Office of Student Affairs dropped a long list of Student Services Fee proposals on the public quicker than an 8am linear algebra course. The funding requests will be reviewed at 4pm today, so there’s not much time for public scrutiny. But throughout the day, we’ll try to keep this omnibus post updated with breakdowns of the various proposals.

ASUA:

Club Funding – $200,000

The proposal, written by Executive Vice President Anderson, starts off with a very curious assertion:

Club Funding was identified by 1142 respondents in the 2009 survey as on [sic] of the top five choices for funding by the Student Services fee, and was also ranked in the top five priorities of 2007 surveys. However, the greater role of club funding lies in the actual application of current club funding allocations. ASUA has contributed to causes ranging from cadaver dissections for Anatomy Enthusiast Society to cancer advocacy with Relay for Life.

The word “club” doesn’t appear once in either SSF survey; rather, students supported,

Increased access to funds for students’ academic travel, presentations, and professional development.

(Allocation for graduate student travel, conferences, and professional development opportunities; support for students representing UA at national tournaments – College Bowl, Billiards, etc., and at on-campus conferences – Leadershape [sic], National Collegiate Leadership Conference, social justice retreat, etc., through fee waivers and scholarships.)

There is a marked difference between payouts to the GPSC and cadavers. Anderson cites a “dire need” for increasing funds, yet includes these numbers:

ASUA serves 500+ recognized graduate and undergraduate clubs and organizations, and has heard 131 funding applications this fiscal year so far. Unfortunately, we will soon face a reality late spring that funding budgets will be exhausted, and we will once again be limited to serving only about 150 clubs total for 2008‐2009.

If funding were so direly needed, then why are less than a third of recognized clubs seeking funding? After all, 131 applications means less than 131 clubs, as several clubs have come before the board on multiple ocassions. Anderson later complains that no other peer institution has such low levels of club funding; yet no other peer institution is spending thousands of dollars to bring in Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkston, Third Eye Blind, and the Veronicas. ASUA has prioritized high-powered, “esteem building” events like these over day-to-day club allocations – it’s a fair position, but it’s also worth reconsidering if you’re an incoming ASUA official.

Sadly, this proposal is probably one of the less insipid offered today. Yet if EVP Anderson really wanted to help students, she could call for returning the fee money back to the students; once safely in their pockets, students could decide which clubs they wanted to support and to what degree – without any pleading before the almighty Appropriations Board.

Collegiate Readership Program – $152,228

Yeah, we’ve been here before. The proposal contains the numbers on the pilot program, which should be taken with a large grain of salt. In the final week, students picked up 1,154 copies of USA Today and 1,155 copies of the Arizona Daily Star, for a total of 6 percent daily readership. (The survey isn’t worth going into – if you want to read about all of the errors plaguing it, read this post and multiply the problems by a factor of three.) Somehow, this justifies the provision of 1,200 papers – even though there was never a shortage of papers during the pilot period. Why not under-provide, requiring those who really want a paper to put their alarm clock where their mouth is?

More interesting is the fact that the CRP folks don’t seem to understand that they’re seeking part of fee money, rather than a fee itself:

At an estimated enrollment of 38,507 students, USA Today recommends a fee of $2 per registered student per semester to cover the full cost of the program.

As disgusting as the idea of a “Media Fee” sounds, perhaps this provides a backhand model for reforming the Student Services Fee – break it up into a series of small, voluntary fees – $2 for USA Today, $3 for Welfare Wednesday, and so on. It’s no fee-free paradise, but at least it offers the possibility for a refund free-for-all.

The CRP also doesn’t account for the costs of SSF pimping – will every single paper have to have one of these?

Sustainability ‘Green Fund’ – $150,000

The Green CaTs fee dies hard. Yet the Green Sustainable Things provide some interesting examples from sustainability efforts around the country:

“The Student Senate approved a $20 hike in the student activity fee to fund the wind energy program at
the University of Denver.”

“In fall 2005, 89% of voting students at Middle Tennessee State University supported an $8 per semester
fee increase to purchase renewable energy and fund the installation of renewable energy and energy
conservation technologies on campus.”

“In November 2000, the Northland College Student Association approved a $10 per semester fee to fund
the installation of renewable energy and energy conservation technologies on campus.”

Wait – you mean to tell me that there are campuses where students actually vote on their fees? Where elected student legislatures actually approve or deny requests for new fees? Here, though, we have an erevnocracy, and so ASUA cites a random survey (a good move, to be fair) with “nearly 1,000 respondents” showing “incredibly strong support.” No supporting data or source documents are provided outside of two pie charts.

Naturally, the fee allocating committee would be entirely under the thumb of ASUA appointees:

The Student Voting Board will serve to approve funding for campus sustainability projects. The monies in the fund will be allocated by a 5 member student group consisting of:

– One undergraduate student elected by the ASUA Sustainability Committee

– One graduate student elected by the ASUA Sustainability Committee

– The ASUA Sustainability Director

– One representative elected by ECOalition

– One student elected by ASUA Student Body President

Nothing like a one-man election. The best part, though, comes in the ASUA carbon indulgences market formation. Quoted in its entirety:

Carbon Offsets

The green fund will also be able to help the University install energy producing systems that not only generate clean electricity but also produce renewable energy credits (REC). A renewable energy credit is a commodity that can be sold to those who either want or need to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The Green Fund Committee can setup a program to sell these RECs to help replenish the fund. For example, an online carbon offset webpage could be made so when professors or students travel they can buy RECs to offset the greenhouse gases emitted from traveling.

If the Newman Center is in charge of allocating the credits, I’m completely game.

Women’s Resource Center Staff – $125,854 + ERE

First things first:

Clearly, sexism isn’t dead and continues to impact the lives of women in varying—but consistently negative—ways.

Consistently negative, eh?

Young women earn more than men in big U.S. cities

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Young women who want to beat men to the big bucks should get a one-way ticket to the closest big U.S. city, a New York study showed.

The research, completed by the Department of Sociology at Queens College in New York, showed full-time female employees in their 20s surpassing same-age males in cities like Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Dallas and New York.

In Dallas, these women earn 20 percent more than men, while in New York City they earn 17 percent more.

But surely women are suffering more in this recession, right?

The proportion of women who are working has changed very little since the recession started. But a full 82 percent of the job losses have befallen men, who are heavily represented in distressed industries like manufacturing and construction. Women tend to be employed in areas like education and health care, which are less sensitive to economic ups and downs, and in jobs that allow more time for child care and other domestic work.

This is what we mean when we refer to a dearth in the diversity of ideas. Both of these links are courtesy of Penelope Trunk, whose heresy would certainly not merit her a place at the WRC table.

Anyways, the WRC is once again appealing for a full-time director. More interesting is the WRC’s approval of the Unity Center proposal:

In short, while the Unity Center reflects a noble desire to maintain the Cultural Centers amidst a massive decrease in their resources, it promises an increase in resources for the Women’s Resource Center. For this reason and many others, it seems senseless to try to keep the WRC distinct from the Unity Center.

There’s always a “but,” though, isn’t there?

– The Unity Center proposal is just that: a proposal. While many members of the campus community hope and believe that this proposal will move forward, there is no guarantee. The WRC needs a guarantee that we will have professional staff and institutionalized support by this summer. Without this professional to work with current WRC Advisors and students, the WRC will lose a great deal of the institutional history, campus and community relationships, and material knowledge on quotidian operations that the WRC has recently developed.

– Each of the Cultural Centers will go into the Unity Center as a developed campus entity. While the WRC provides as much student support and as many professional development opportunities, programs, and services as these Centers, we certainly do not have comparable resources allocated to us. If the Cultural Centers are expected to see the WRC as an equal component, we must have something that we can bring to the table so that others see our inclusion as legitimate, rather than being viewed as one more group responsible for others’decreased funding.

– Despite having many more resources than the WRC, the budget cuts will likely mean that the resources currently allocated to Cultural Centers will be decreased. If the WRC is included in the Unity Center, but brings in none of its own resources, an unfortunate dichotomy could emerge between the Cultural Centers and the currently student-directed initiatives supported by the WRC.

– Having our own resources and funds actually increases the likelihood that the WRC will move out of ASUA and into the Unity Center! In other words, if the WRC has money allocated specifically to hiring a Director, this person would almost have to be housed in the Unity Center, as an organization that is professionally-directed would need to move out of the student-led ASUA.

The only problem here is that the Unity Center has already been approved, and is slated for enactment on July 1 – a mere proposal this ain’t. Regardless of whether or not the WRC has a full-time director, it had better be a part of the Center by the fall semester. Given the creation of the Unity Center, which creates a good deal of uncertainty, allocating funds for a multi-year, full-time director seems to be a very poor idea.

As a postscript, it’s somewhat curious that school funds can be used to advocate for sex, but not for drinking or drug consumption.

Campus Recreation:

Staff & Wage Increases (w/ ERE) – $274,004

This must be a joke. Campus Recreation already receives two separate fees – and while the Bond fee is only used for bond payback, the inflation-adjusted, non-refundable (contrary to the Rec Center’s assertion) Program Fee is used for all sorts of things, including employment. $92,280 will be allocated for three graduate assistants that will manage “new digital signage,” maintain the website, and “other marketing initiatives.” $85,000 will be spent to once again adhere to the federal government’s increased minimum wage.

Career Services:

Staff Increases (w/ ERE) – $43,009.64

Work making, for the purpose of marketing already extant services:

Studies have shown that when seeking career advice, students tend to pay more attention to their peers and seek their guidance on where to get assistance. Career Services would like to develop and implement a College Career Ambassador Program. The College Career Ambassador (CCA) Program will be a peer career advisor program. The intent of the program is to recruit three students to represent each of the following colleges: College of Engineering, Eller College and College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. This group of students would be the “student extension” of Career Services in our work with the academic areas. The College Career Ambassadors will assist Career Services in our efforts to serve the greatest number of students in the college they represent. A Career Ambassador might be the first contact students have with Career Services! Due to the level of responsibility of the Career Ambassadors they would be selected utilizing high standards and compensated at or above the usual rate for student workers on campus.

The College Career Ambassadors would expand our accessibility to students within these colleges. They would work independently and along with Career Services staff, Graduate Assistant (if approved), Career Services college liaisons, advisors and faculty within their college. As a result more students will know about Career Services and then engage with Career Services to take advantage of the services offered, thus encouraging students to be more proactive in formulating and implementing their career goals.

CSIL:

Films Make a Difference – $3,420

Pay money so that you can watch Reading Rainbow:

Films that Make a Difference will be the name of an educational film series program. 4 series will make
up this program. Each series will be 3 movies long for a total of 12 in the program. Each series will focus
on a theme as identified by an interest survey we will implement.

Students have expressed interest already in an International Film Series and a Social Justice Film Series.
Our assesment [sic] will identify the top 4 student interests and be shown throughout the year.

Chinatown “makes a difference.” So do Casablanca, Being John Malkovich, and All the Presidents’ Men. Somehow, I suspect that CSIL isn’t planning on showing anything in this vein.

Friday Night Live – $63,785

Sadly, this doesn’t entail a guest visit from Lorne Michaels and the gang:

The mission of FNL will be to make available to students quality late night entertainment during prime social times. FNL will take place in areas such as The Cellar, PSU, and the Mall…maybe even the Rec! FNL will provide an alcohol free environment with opportunities for students to gain experiences in programming, leadership development, and responsible social interaction. Examples of activities include casino nights, late night movies, dances with live bands and instruction, poetry slams, improv comedy, Wildcat Idolm [sic] and much more! The goals of FNL will be to:

1. Provide students with alcohol free social alternatives
2. Offer a variety of programs to meet the interests of a diverses student body
3. Encourage student involvement in planning and cosponsoring events
4. Create a positive Wildcat social environment!

The survey data cited for this program?

1. Health and wellness programs and initiatives
2. Increased faculty/ student program opportunities

Your author adheres to a different “wellness” program – and in doing so, he pays his own way. Is it so unreasonable to ask other party animals to do the same?

Art Gallery Staff – $24,550

More job creation, but with a social justice twist:

Title: Graduate Assistant for Union Galleries

Primary function of the position: This position directly assists the Senior Coordinator of Social Justice Programs in oversight of the Union Gallery and Social Justice Programs. This position will focus on curatorial practice, programming, administration, leadership development, and supervision of student staff.

At risk of repeating myself, is it that unreasonable to ask for an art gallery without a political bent?

Heritage Months & Awareness Weeks – $12,085

Never mind the fact that social justice programs were one of the least popular proposals – CSIL is going ahead with its exceptionally vague social justice proposal:

The social justice programs of the University of Arizona’s Center for Student Involvement & Leadership
support, advocate and educate students in the areas of inequality and social injustices found in our
society. Heritage Months and Awareness Weeks specifically serve as sources of information, education,
and support for students. These programs provide a forum for a student voice as it pertains to all sides,
opinions, and expereinces [sic] related to these themes.

As much as we fight against the mirage of social justice here, your author is personally hoping for a “Serbian-American Heritage Week,” complete with a bottomless punch-bowl of slivovitz.

Hump-Day Matinee – $10,085

More films, more typos:

Project Description:
Half-hour television shows or student created shorts screened in the Gallagher Theater in conjunction with Savy Student Wednesdays in the Union. The shows would be popular ones students may have missed the week before (ie Grays Anatomy, 24, ect…) while also providing a venuew for students to show their own creative works.

What are these guys, bloggers? This proposal manages somehow to be even less informed than its CSIL counterparts, ignoring not only the already existing TV Lounge and the TVs in the Cellar, but also the brand-new plasmas at Three Cheeses. Remind me again when catching up on Grey’s and 24 constituted part of the university’s academic mission?

TIPS (Alcohol Awareness) – $26,085

If there is anything that UA students are aware of, it’s alcohol. Nevertheless, CSIL wants to bring in an outside firm (attention, Wildcat!) to provide students with:

[the] knowledge and conifidence necessary to reduce high-risk dringking behavior among their peers. TIPS brings together admiistrators, faculty, and students to creat a responsible campus atmosphere.

All spelling is in context. Hopefully, the typos are a result of one drink too many, rather than the inability to use a spell-checker. The program has high hopes:

Anticipated Impact:
In order to intentionally administer a program that can contribute to a change in the culture on this campus as it relates to alcohol use and abuse, it is important to ensure 3 years coverage. These first 3 years will be instrumental in creating a culture that cares for itself differently then we do now. Our expectation is that a cultural shift can be supported by the students who are touched by TIPS and in 3 years time the majority of the greek population and 3 years of ASUA and Zona Zoo leadership will be impacted by TIPS and help in ensuring that incoming freshman understand our UA community expectations as it relates to alcohol and health and wellness.

Annually this program has the potential to directly touch the lives of 1,740 student leaders and over 3 years has the potential to directly touch 5,220 students leaders. But the largest impact will be that of each of those students. If each of those students can touch the lives of only 3 more students…their friends, this program has the potential to impact 15, 660 additional students, for a total of 20,880 students. That could be the tipping point in our culture.

With all this culture changing and unsolicited touching, your author needs a drink.

Daily Wildcat:

A Penny A Paper – $55,500

How droll – the Wildcat, unhappy with watching Gannett get “subsidized,” has decided to go for a ‘subsidy’ of its own. After all, the implied argument goes, if you’re willing to pay big ol’ Gannett, why not pay li’l ol’ us? This logic works – and frankly, paying the Wildcat is a better proposal than anything CSIL has ever offered.

But one should wonder how seriously the Wildcat takes its own laudatory description:

Produced by students for students, it is the only source of news for students unfiltered by the administration, by politics, by special interests. The Daily Wildcat is the students’ voice.

Yet with this plea, the Wildcat states that it wants money from the administration – specifically, the Office of Student Affairs – in order to continue its current operations. Given the choice between tightening its belt and remaining truly independent, and getting Student Affairs money for a new webpage, the Wildcat has opted for the latter – it is by no means wrong, but it is rather disappointing.

Dean of Students:

Ethics & Integrity Staff Increase – $29,888

Wait, wasn’t this fee supposed to be money for student priorities?

To address this student trend we propose several projects including a Graduate Assistant for Integrity & Ethics, a Student Advisory Board and the creation of a campus wide honor pledge. These projects will reach all UA students – graduate and undergraduate – based on the broad based nature of the culture change these projects seek to achieve.

So students indicated a desire for “additional resources for learning support,” and they’re supposed to take a loyalty oath to the Code of Academic Integrity and a publicity campaign in return? Somehow, I suspect that more councils and more make-work weren’t exactly what these survey takers had in mind.

Safe Cats & Advocacy – $110,495

Apparently, the best way to solve serious problems like sexual assault is through make-work programs and increased bureaucracy:

In addition to the goal of providing enhanced student advocacy, we also seek to work proactively with our partners, Campus Health, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the Parent and Family Association, the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD), Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA), the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), and the OASIS Center for Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence to build out a comprehensive campus safety program called UA Safe Cats. The Safe Cats program is currently a pilot project administered by the Campus Safety Coordinator (CSC). The CSC has been conducting focus groups and is currently administering a Campus Safety Survey, which will close the day this proposal is due.

. . .

To reverse the growing trend of sexual assault, violence and high risk behavior within our community, we propose the creation of two half-time graduate assistant (GA) positions that would coordinate educational efforts around sexual assault prevention and awareness, reporting, resources, hazing and suicide prevention and awareness. These GA’s would work the CSC, the CSAA and our partners noted above to develop and deploy publications, interactive multimedia, banners, newspaper campaigns, social networking campaigns and educational workshops that address these behaviors and perceptions.

Yet the Dean of Students’ Office buries the real story in its graphs:

Code of Conduct Violations Graph

Code of Conduct Violations with Harm Graph

Over the past three academic years, the UA has seen increase of 43 Code violations involving harm or the threat of harm – which range from this case to things far more serious. Yet in that same span of time, the UA has seen a 139 violation increase in what one might “harmless” crime – and while some of these are related to plagiarism, a good number are indubitably related to drug and underage alcohol offenses, a trend that Connor observed in this post.

This isn’t the worst proposal in the world, but it would be nice to see a Dean of Students proposal come forth that doesn’t involve punishing students – be it financially or quasi-legally.

Disability Resource Center:

Staff & Office Costs – $75,828

This policy wouldn’t be so objectionable if it weren’t for its budget:

Operating Costs:
Office Supplies $ 1000
Printing/Copying $ 1000
Business Mtgs. $ 800
Networking Events $ 2000
SSF Signage $ 400
Reasonable Accommodations $10,000

Not only is the DRC asking for students to pay for their Xerox paper, but they also want ten grand with absolutely no check? The last time your author asked for “reasonable accommodations” with regard to his bar tab, he got thrown out – hopefully, the same thing happens to this proposal.

GPSC:

Travel Grants – $85,000

Nothing new here – just the same ol’ cash money to keep the graduates from stirring. It should be pointed out that the GPSC is simultaneously asking for fee remission as they push this proposal.

Health:

CAPS Clinician – $71,235

This would pay for one full-time mental health clinician, a position which is perfectly set up to pay for itself via a counseling user fee. This reeks of administrative suckling at the student money teat.

Health Educator – $44,709

More marketing make-work:

This health educator position will allow for a range of health promotion and prevention activities, including 1) sleep, stress and mental health issues, 2) public health programming related to the prevention of infectious diseases (e.g. colds, flu, sexually transmitted infections, meningitis) and student safety, as well as, 3) the coordination of the Farmers’ Market at the UA.

One also has to appreciate the standard by which this fee money will be judged:

Outcomes will principally be measured through process evaluation of the position itself. These will include the number public health messages written, presentations given, classes led and Farmers’ Markets coordinated.

SALT Center:

Staff Increases – $152,300

This is interesting:

The UA campus has several different opportunities for students to receive tutoring assistance and other related academic resources but they are spread out across campus and have various hours of operation. Please see additional information provided for the
overlap of these similar services.

The goal for the SLC is to incorporate the existing services of MASTR and the Writing Center while expanding the number of courses supported to include highly enrolled Tier One courses, some foreign languages, and introductory courses in popular academic majors.

This application requests student services fee support for the hourly (student) wages needed to staff the Student Learning Center with free drop-in tutoring services, course specific review sessions, and peer mentoring for students. Our plan is to have 12
undergraduate tutors, one peer mentor, and one student receptionist available throughout the 40 hours of operation. The SLC will serve as a single conduit for all available free and fee-based academic support services while being a clearinghouse for other
opportunities within other student affairs departments and academic colleges.

Call it the Unity Center for Student Tutors. Again, though, these resources can be much more efficiently paid for with user fees – a flat fee for each appointment.

Student Financial Aid:

CRISIS Counselor – $74,645

An execrable acronym for an administrative position:

The OSFA CRISIS [Coordinator for Retention, Interdepartmental Relations, Student Intervention, and Support] Counselor will: counsel students in financial difficulty, liaison with other departments within Student Affairs, academic advisors, and admissions staff in order to identify and direct student to available resources, counsel students and parents experiencing financial difficulty, track student data, and compile reports on the results of additional funding. The effectiveness of the OSFA CRISIS Counselor will be measured by: the number of students served by this new position, a decrease in number of students who withdraw with balances, increased student retention, and student feedback on future Student Services Fee Surveys.

Utilizing student fees to establish the OSFA CRISIS Counselor position will meet the needs of our student population by providing essential services to students at risk of withdrawing from UA. The cohesive support provided through funding of this proposed position, would increase student retention, decrease unpaid balances, and promote financial literacy for our students. The benefits of this position go far beyond the scope outlined; this position would support students, staff, and the University community
as a whole.

To speak broadly for a moment, why can’t this justification be used for anything other paid position at the university? Why not pay the President’s salary with SSF money – after all, he does provide “services” to the students. What about the Provost? Professors?

Because in theory, this money is supposed to be money for student projects – not administrative salaries. There are several proposals of this nature, where administrators are sticking their snouts in the pot of student money. We can only hope that the Board stings them for this meddling.

Scholarships for You – $78,085

When is a scholarship not a scholarship? When it’s spent used to “streamline” and “heighten awareness” of other scholarships:

Phase 1: Streamline awarding of scholarships exclusively available to UA students.
-Develop a system that combines admissions data, an online scholarship workbook profile, and financial aid
data to match exclusive UA scholarships with UA students.

Phase 2: Connect students with scholarships that are not exclusive to UA.
-Using the same data from Phase 1, we seek out and automatically notify students of scholarship opportunities
not designated exclusively for UA students.

Yet not only is the scholarship not a scholarship, but a streamlined new system is also not what it appears to be:

FTE (Salary and ERE) $70,000

Travel to other universities and institutions: $5,000

Laptop: $2,000

Student incentives to join focus groups: $600

Student Services Fee Branding and Signage Total: $485

Essentially, “scholarships for you” entail a new FTE who will (hopefully) propose a new scholarship system that will have its own associated costs, along with providing said FTE with a travel expense account and a laptop. Lovely.

TEACH Grant Advocate – $80,475

More full-time employment, with benefits:

1. FTE $70,000 ( Salary and ERE)
2. Digital scanner $4,000
3. Personal Computer $2,000
4. Travel for training and presentations $4,000
5. Student Services Fee Branding and Signage
Five rolls of 1.25” white gloss round Stickers $300
One 5” round Static Cling Clear Vinyl Window Label $5
Two 16” Interior Hanging Double-Sided Circular Sign $170

It should be pointed out that students are more than able to apply for TEACH grants, with the currently provided help from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Amusingly, it is the Office of Student Financial Aid – an office supposedly dedicated to helping students get money for their education – that is the most hellbent on getting new, full-time employees with benefits from misappropriated student money.

Student Unions:

Mac Lab Upgrades – $8,265.33

This is not the first time that money has been requested for something that is considered “hip,” but rarely has the soliciting entity been so forthright about it:

This space will create a “Mac Lab” of sorts with 8 total computers available as long as the 4th floor is open. With the increased popularity of Apple technology, this “lab” can help the unions meet this trend for our students.

Welfare Wednesday – $320,000

You might have heard of this. To clarify, this is not a $320,000 increase (with the subsequent addition of Food Stamp Friday), but rather a 3 percent adjustment to the previously allocated amount.

Sustainability Initiatives – $153,808

You thought you could exhale? Plus, another awful name:

*Green Disposable Products – $78,358
*Green Floor Scrubber – $1,200
*Recyling Expenses – $42,010
*Waterless Urinals – $9,020
*YOUnion Aid – $23,220

More on the “YOUnion Aid”:

5. YOUnion Aid: A new program designed to address the issue of sustainability, as a whole, at the Unions. The primary focus of the program would be to increase awareness about sustainability and its many facets. The four focus areas include educational, environmental, economic and social initiatives. Education would be the primary focus to increase awareness about maximizing resources while reducing/eliminating waste. Workshops, student staffing and volunteer efforts would comprise the programming aspect while being actively engaged in overarching Union sustainability initiatives such as those previously mentioned.

University Learning Center:

Math and Science Tutoring Resource – $165,800

Wait . . . is that – a user fee?!

REVIEW SESSIONS- S09
This is the first semester these sessions have been offered through MASTR. There is a $10-15 fee charged. This is a listing of the review sessions offered before spring break.

One step forward, two steps back:

The budget submitted is for the additional money needed to keep the program free for all enrolled UA students.

Since when did students feel entitled to free tutoring that includes professional “academic coaches”? If there is anything that can be paid for with a user fee, it is this kind of service.

Supplemental Instruction for Large General Education Classes – $80,000

Another interesting proposal, courtesy of the ULC and SALT:

SI is a nationally recognized academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted review sessions that help students process the
information the instructor presents in lecture. SI sessions are offered throughout the week and are open to any student enrolled in the course.

. . .

In Spring 2008, an SI-tutoring hybrid was implemented for INDV 101 Language in conjunction with the MASTR program. The INDV 101 Language SI leaders attended lecture and had access to course materials, but their SI sessions were a combination of structured activities and drop- in tutoring. In Spring 2008 113 students were seen (26% of the class) and their average final grade was 10% higher than those students who did not attend SI. In Fall 2008, 82 students (19% of the class) were seen and their final grade was 8% higher than those students who did not attend SI.

In Spring 2009, traditional SI was implemented for INDV 103 An Economic Perspective. So far this semester 260 students have come to SI (53% of the class). And, on the first exam the average score for students who participated in SI was 9% higher than those who did not participate in SI.

. . .

The proposed program will impact a significant number of students. In the first year alone, SI would offer academic support to 9,000 students and create on-campus jobs for 45+ students. Over three years, this would increase to offering academic support to 20,000+ students and employ 100+ students.

This might be even better if the funds were allocated directly from the additional portion of the fee that freshmen pay for their costly tendencies.

TOTAL REQUESTED: $2,671,138.97

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7 Responses

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  1. A. Hill said, on 13 April 2009 at 4:29 pm

    “This would pay for one full-time mental health clinician, a position which is perfectly set up to pay for itself via a counseling user fee. This reeks of administrative suckling at the student money teat.”

    I’ve got to disagree here. If they were to establish a user fee, they’d essentially be telling students who have mental health problems but don’t have money to pay for counseling (or who don’t want to have to tell their parents about it in order to get money from them) to eat shit, and when it comes to mental health that could entail a lot of self-destructive behaviors, including suicide. You shouldn’t have to buy the privilege of not wanting to kill yourself.

  2. A. Hill said, on 13 April 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Wait, did I misread that and there’s already a user fee?

  3. Jimi Alexander said, on 13 April 2009 at 10:36 pm

    A. Hill:

    Yes, there’s a user fee in place. My girlfriend uses CAPS services, and she pays $20 a visit for the privilege.

  4. Laura Donovan said, on 14 April 2009 at 7:00 pm

    I don’t think your girlfriend would be thrilled that you’re broadcasting the fact that she frequents CAPS. There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help on campus, but it’s a private matter and I doubt she wants you to spread her personal information on the internet. Next time, say “someone I know” because it’s a violation of privacy to list specifics. Not trying to be mean at all. I just don’t think it’s your information to share with the world.

  5. […] Politics by Connor Mendenhall on 16 April 2009 Evan did a great job in a short time covering the smorgasbord of Student Services fee requests dumped on the public earlier this week. Alone in an ocean of […]

  6. […] mean, like the Dean of Students’ “Ethics and Integrity” staff? Or the increasing of support staff at the expanded Rec Center? Then there’s this piece in […]

  7. […] Michelle Perez […]


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