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Tracking the student activity fee

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Students at Drake University pay a total of $132 a year in activity fees, but many of the students do not know where the money goes.

Melissa Sturm-Smith, the assistant dean of students at Drake, said that every year Student Senate decides to either keep the student activity fee where it is at, or change the amount that students pay. The most recent change was during the 2008-09 fiscal year when Senate changed the fee to its current $66 per semester ($132 for the year).

She also referenced a document made by last year’s Student Body Treasurer Kyle Lewandowski which he presented to Senate to recommend keeping the activity at the current rate.

The breakdown of student fees goes toward the Board of Student Communications, the Student Development Fund, the Annually-Funded budget and the campus readership program.

“Twelve dollars of that (student activity fee) goes to the Campus Readership program,” she said. The Campus Readership Program funds the USA Today, The New York Times and The Des Moines Register that are available for students on campus.

According to Sturm-Smith, the Student Development Fund is used by the Student Fees and Allocation Committee for one-time funding for groups on campus that need it.

“Any student or student organization is eligible to apply for one-time funding,” said Strum-Smith, which is an online process through SFAC.

Once a student fee is suggested by Senate, a baseline budget is produced off of the projection of how many students will be attending during the next academic school year, and that is how the estimates for each year are made.

The current student activity fee was decided on during the fiscal year of 2008-09.

Sturm-Smith said students should take advantage of the programming on campus because a lot of what goes on is funding through the student fees they pay through their tuition.

She also encourages students to take advantage of the one-time funding process.

Student Activity Fee Breakdown ($132):

$12 for the Campus Readership Program

$32.40 for the Board of Student Communications (set at 27%)

$75.60 for Student Development Fund (set at 63%)

$12 for Student Fees and Allocations Committee Budget (set at 10%)

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LAUREN HORSCH

Horsch is a junior news/Internet and rhetoric double major. She serves as the TD's Editor-in-Chief. She has been on staff for three years and has been the editor since January 2012.

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