Board of trustees approve student activity fee increase

By Da Lee

On March 21, City College’s board of trustees approved a recommendation from the Associated Students Executive Council that would increase the student activity fee from $5 to $10.

Students will see a shift from $5 to $7 during the 2020 fiscal year, followed by an increase to $10 by 2021.

As stated on the college website, money accumulated by the student activity fee “doesn’t just disappear; it makes a difference in the lives of students on your campus.”

The fee, which hasn’t been altered in nearly 17 years, funds student government, clubs, resource centers and events throughout Ocean Campus and across the college’s many centers.

The phrase “Supported by your $5 Student Activity Fee” can be found on posters, flyers and event notices.

With financial support from the student activity fee, resource centers are able to provide students with free printing, snacks and food.

“The Women’s Resource Center has a library of books by female authors,” said Amy Coffey, interim administrator from the Student Activities Office.

To Coffey, it’s more than just the physical things that one can get from resource centers.

In 2002, the board passed a resolution that would establish an optional activity fee from credit students at the time of registration during spring and fall semesters.

Students are able to “opt out” by completing a form and submitting it to the Student Activities Office.

According to Coffey, about 200 students opt out for primary financial difficulty reasons.

Ocean Campus’ AS Council approved a 2019 budget of $295,230. However, the expected revenue of $235,400 – including collected student activity fees totaling to $90,000 in fall 2017 and $95,000 in spring 2018 – was under budget by $59,830.

And with the growth of students and program costs,  along with the option to opt out of paying the fee, Associated Students has struggled to keep projects running efficiently.

According to student lab aid Kasandra Crreno, the Women’s Resource Center has lacked office supplies, which the fee typically funds.

Student awareness of the fee also varies. Cinema student Claire Mande is not concerned about the $2 increase but would like to know more about where the money goes and how funds are distributed.

AS Council President Angelica Campos hopes to increase awareness of the student activity fee and its importance to the college community.

In the meantime, she plans to look into other revenue sources.

The Guardsman