Have you ever wondered where your student tuition goes and what it ends up paying for? While the majority goes towards paying the remainder of the fees for classes, there is a small portion that goes towards something quite different.
Section 76060.5 of the Education Code allows a student body association to order an election to establish a student representation fee of $1 per semester that is collected by college officials at or before registration.
The election requires an affirmative vote of two-thirds of students voting to establish the fee, according to Assembly Bill 1358.
“Some of the things we spend the money on are scholarships, awards, certificates, meeting expenses and equipment purchases for the student senate,” said Bryan Anderson-Wooten, the treasurer for the student senate. “So things that help the students.”
While the current fee is $1 from every student, that is about to change.
AB 1358, which was signed and approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 19, will give authorization to the student body association to establish an election to collect a student representation fee of $2 per semester, effective Jan. 1, 2014, according to the bill itself.
Campus Life Coordinator Winnie LaNier said that the change does not mandate the fee increase.
It just allows the student body associations to hold an election to establish the new fee with a two-thirds majority.
This increase would require $1 out of the $2 collected go towards funding the operations of a statewide community college student organization, according to AB 1358.
Whether or not CRC decides to implement this change, one thing is certain at the moment: a dollar of each student’s tuition is taken out and allocated to the budget of the Associated Students of Cosumnes River College.
The decision on how to spend those collected fees is a collective effort made by all members of the senate.
“We all put our heads together and that’s how we decide on how to spend the money, to see what’s best for the students,” Wooten said.
A portion of the semester’s budget has already been used on supplies for vendor week. As of Dec. 4, $4,869.03 remains of the student senate budget, Wooten said.
Feedback from students on campus and subcommittees plays a part in the decision of how to spend the money.
Wooten said he speaks to the finance committee to seek its input before bringing it back to the senate to tell them what the committee said.
Others on campus have their own ideas on how the money should be used.
Construction Professor Ryan Connally said that the money should be spent to benefit all students and not just a few.
“To be honest that kind of money should just be dedicated back to student success,” Connally said. “I would say something like either access to resources whether that’s more textbooks, scholarships, or other kinds of access to resources.”
Mary Bailly, 18, a psychology major had a different idea.
“Maybe more shade for the quad area because when it’s really sunny out here you can’t see the pages of the book because of the sunlight,” Bailly said.
“If the grass is wet you can’t sit on the grass and that’s where most of the shade is.”
Another student, Keyanna Rowan, 21, a real estate major, said the money should be spent on providing more food options to students for convenience sake.
“I went to a university and they have Starbucks, Subway and all that. So I think this school should have that,” Rowan said. “I do [want Starbucks and Subway] so I don’t have to go off campus and get my food.”