Tripled student activity fee nets $900,000 for academic year

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Student Activity Fee Committee approved two club requests.

By Andrea Moreno

amoreno439@student.alamo.edu

According to the student services activity fee budget summary, the total amount projected for the 2018-19 academic year is $893,811.

The money has been distributed into programs, activities, committees and sports, said Mark Bigelow, interim director of student activities Sept. 6.

The funds come from the student activity fee, assessed on each student at a rate of $3 per credit hour.

Last year, when the student fee was $1 per credit hour, about $273,000 was projected for the entire academic year of 2017-18.

The student activity fee budget for club requests was $46,500 for the 2017-18 academic year, Mark Bigelow, interim director of student activities said Sept. 6.

The following programs and organizations have been allotted funding from the student activity fee.

The student life general activities and events, such as Weeks of Welcome, National Night Out and Halloween festivities were allotted $30,000.

The institute co-curricular activities, such as the institute programs of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM); business and public services; creative and communications arts; and health and biosciences; have been given a budget of $80,000.

The money will be split differently throughout the academic year to each institute based on any big events, Bigelow said.

The institute co-curricular activities programs are something new that has been developed this academic year, and it is still being decided what these programs will be using the budget for, he said.

By law, all student activity fee funds are to be used for student activities, not academic purposes, but as the program is new, Bigelow said he doesn’t know what funds will be used for.

The civic engagement and service learning programs have been given a combined $20,000 for events such as a Peace Day Mixer and Constitution Day and will use their budget for items they give away, such as food for students.

Building improvements for Loftin Student Center are expected to absorb $75,000 though Bigelow could not identify what the funds will be used for.

In the past, funds have been used to remodel the cafeteria and to purchase furniture.

The advocacy center where students, faculty and staff can get food, clothing, counseling and emergency assistance has been allotted $20,000.

The Campus Activity Board has been given $15,000 for anything the board will host.

CAB may use its budget on inflatable rentals for entertainment and some of the funds on the SAC games, said Nicholas Delaunay, liberal arts sophomore and CAB president, on Sept. 19.

SAC games is a new event that has CAB partnered with the Gaming Society and the K Club from the kinesiology program.

Ninety students participated in the Olympic style activities Oct. 15-18 and participants were to be eliminated until the last three participants are left. Those then compete for the first-, second- and third-place winners, Delaunay said.

Extramural and intramural sports have been given $80,000. Each sport of this college, such as the men’s basketball, women’s basketball, boxing, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer and intramural programming along with cheerleading, has been given $10,000, making the total $80,000.

The salaries and benefits for three full-time coordinators and for seven part-time coaches for sports requires another $285,237.49.

The three coordinators receive health insurance but the seven part-time coaches do not receive benefits.

The two coordinators are student success Coordinator Joseph Liedecke and Bigelow.

The third coordinator position is still vacant, Bigelow said.

The Student Activity Fee Committee approved in 2006 having the three coordinators and seven coaches get their salaries from the student activity fee.

The committee decides where the money will be allotted.

There are three coaches for sports, women’s basketball coach Haley Capestany, women’s volleyball coach Rauel Pichardo and boxing coach Hector Ramos.

“The other positions are not filled yet … it just takes time,” Bigelow said.

The Student Activity Fee Committee designated $200,000 to award to clubs and student organizations, $195,000 for club requests and $5,000 for organization benchmarks for fall and spring semesters.

Only 10 clubs per semester that complete the entire 11-step benchmark can be awarded a $250 incentive reward.

However, clubs and organizations are required to complete at least the first six steps each semester.

The benchmarks include updates on meetings, missions, goals, positions and contact information through OrgSync.

This also requires updating upcoming events, posting the roster of members in the club or organization and updating finances, which is all done on OrgSync.

Officers must also attend a risk management workshop and then conduct a 30-minute overview of risk management for members in a regular scheduled meeting.

Clubs that complete the 11 steps this semester, must notify Bigelow by 10 a.m. Nov. 29 to receive the $250 reward.

Cultural committees such as Raza Heritage Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Month have each been allotted $5,000 for a total of $20,000.

The Student Government Association has been allotted $25,000 for events such as a zombie-themed 5K Fun Run and Pizza with the President, which SGA will sponsor throughout the year.

The committee allotted $20,000 to a lecture series.

The lecture series budget will be used among all committees, clubs and organizations.

A reserve of $23,573.51 remains for emergencies, Bigelow said.

Bigelow said clubs should be reasonable with how much they request for projects.

At the first fall 2018 Student Activity Fee Committee meeting Sept. 6, five students and four faculty members of this college reviewed and decided on which projects to fund.

Students who are part of the Student Activity Fee Committee for the academic year, were selected by Karen Ortiz, president of the Student Government Association and chair of the fee committee.

The following students are voting members of the committee, Diana Flores, American Sign Language interpreter sophomore; Connor Ghita, biology sophomore; Lynette Gonzalez-Vidal, social work sophomore; and Lola Johnson, liberal arts sophomore.

Ortiz, business administration sophomore, will invite an alternate student voting member, psychology sophomore Brett Douglas, when a regular student member is not available.

The last four voting members are the faculty members of this college, Melissa Sutherland-Hunt, counselor in the student advocacy center; English Professor Laurie Coleman; visual arts Professor Qing Liu; and ASL Professor Brian Barwise.

In the Sept. 6 meeting, Sutherland-Hunt was not available and Patty Medina, Title V grant coordinator, an alternate voting member, came in to fill her spot.

Applications to request funding from the Student Activity Fee Committee are due by Oct. 25 for consideration in the next meeting Nov. 1.

For more information, call Bigelow at 210-486-0134.

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