The Collegian Editorial: The GAF is necessary expense

The Collegian Staff

An increase in the GAF is nothing new to South Dakota State University students. Most years, there is some sort of increase, of course what the money is allocated for each year is different, but something on campus always needs more attention–and more money. 

The GAF pays for students to attend athletic events, pays for various student resources on campus and often goes toward construction projects on campus, such as the new stadium or an expansion on The Union. 

This year, the GAF could go up anywhere between $5.50 to $5.90 per credit hour, depending on what the Board of Regents votes on April 1. This $5.50 to $5.90 is allocated to three separate projects: the Wellness Center expansion, the Career Development office and club sports. These three projects have been determined as needing extra funds. 

The Wellness Center expansion will allow for not only more gym space, but also more room for health services, providing the clinic with much needed space.    While it will be nice to have more gym space, we at The Collegian think the clinic is due for some expansion. The Wellness Center offers a wide variety of services from counseling to appointments for illness. Having more space to better serve the ever-growing student body at SDSU seems to be a necessity and an increase in the GAF for this seems justified. 

The second project receiving some of the funding is the Career Development office. Let’s face it, even though many say that college is the best four plus years of your life, we are all here for one reason–to get a job. Eventually, we’ll all have to take our degrees and do something with them, and deciding what that is can be stressful. Having a professional easily accessible to each student for help on finding a career and dealing with the many stressful parts of doing that is definitely beneficial for students. Making sure there are enough people staffed in that office to help the 12,557 students on campus would be a great use of the GAF. 

The third and final organization set to receive an increase in GAF funding is club sports. With the extra funding, club sports will have more space and the clubs will be able to handle the growing amounts of participants. 

The common ground among all of these things is that it is clear how each of these things serves the students. Each of these groups or projects will improve general student life on campus and students can see what their money is being spent on. In the past, some of the funds that the GAF feeds into have seemed unclear and students didn’t really know where their money was going. 

While it’s appreciated that students know where their money is going, sometimes frustration comes from the fact that many of us who are paying the GAF increase probably won’t be around to see the results.

As with many things at a university, investing in the future is just how it goes. These projects seem worth the extra attention and money, even if they are long-term changes.