Activities fees paid by all, used by some

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

SDSU students paid $13.43 per credit hour this semester into the university’s general activity fee.

A student taking a 16-credit course load during the fall and spring semesters pays around $430 a year.

Last year, SDSU students paid $2.6 million into the fund that covers optional services like athletic events, health services, Student Union programs and other student activities.

The amount is set by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

“Part of the money is automatically given back for things like intramurals and recreation. The rest of it comes to the SA and that is what we allocate the rest of the year,” Hansen said.

According to the SA’s budget for the 2001 to 2002 fiscal year, $1 million went directly to athletic, intramurals and recreation activities. The SA then had over $1.6 million to distribute to other organizations and programs throughout campus.

Even with $1.6 million a year to support activities, SA Finance Chair Ryan Feist said their budget is tight and it takes time to sort out the details.

“We don’t have enough money to give every student organization the amount that they need. So what we have to do is make decisions of who needs how much,” Feist said.

Student fees can be worth the money, Hansen said.

“[Students] don’t have a choice. They have to pay student fees, so if they take advantage of all the things these student organizations do for students, they’re going to their money’s worth,” Hansen said. “You get out of things what you put into them.”

Some students feel cheated that they are required to pay the fee when they cannot or do not take advantage of the supported programs.

Junior Bobbi Jo Reimann said it is even harder for students that live off campus to use the fees.

“Once you’re off campus, you’re at home after class and you don’t want to go back. When you live on campus you’re usually a newer student and have more free time. You may not have a job yet and classes are easier,” Reimann said.

Junior interior design major Krystal Maras agreed with Reimann.

“It’s usually more useful to on-campus students . . . I live off campus and I don’t want to stay around for a concert or anything,” she said.

Freshman journalism major Kristin Marthaler compared the fees to a state tax.

“I know [the money] all goes to good use, but if I’m not using [what it supports], then I’m wasting $500 I could’ve spent on books or something,” Marthaler said.