Only Athletics and Counseling request student fee increases for 2015-2016

Heather Andreu

Athletics and the Counseling Center are both vying for an increase to their student fees, with no one else requesting an increase.

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Shari Shuman, SFAC chair, opens the Nov. 17 meeting.
Photo by Lacey Wyndham

Today was the third and final day the Student Fee Assessment Committee (SFAC) heard proposals from a representative for six of UNF’s student fees. Based on these proposals, the SFAC will decide which fees will get an increase for 2015-16.

On Nov. 17, Student Government, Student Health Services and the Counseling Center presented.

SFAC Chair Shari Shuman said that low enrollment numbers led to only 48 cents being available for adjustments to student fees.

Student Government Director Michael McGuire said Student Government (SG) is not requesting an increase to the Activity and Services fee for the third year in a row.

McGuire said the SG fund balance, which is leftover money from previous years’ budgets, will be enough to sustain them for the 2014-2015 academic year. He said not asking for a fee increase means SG will have to be more frugal with their spending.

Director of Student Health Services Administration Doreen Perez also did not need to ask for an increase to the Health Services fee.

Perez said their fund balance will also be able to sustain them for the 2014-2015 academic year, but a continued use of the fund balance could cause negative consequences by the 2017-2018 academic year.

Perez said third party billing would allow for Student Health Services to break even, so they won’t have to dip into the fund balance.

The Counseling Center requested a 44 cent increase. This increase would take the counseling fee from $2.90 to $3.34 per credit hour.

Director of the Counseling Center Andrew King said this requested increase will allow for the the start of a doctoral internship program.

The doctoral internship program will allow three interns to do their internships at the UNF Counseling Center. Upon completing their internship, the three students then have the ability to move into the role of a therapist in the Counseling Center.

On Nov. 18, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and Health Promotions presented.

Rusty Dubberly, DRC director, didn’t suggest an increase or decrease in the DRC student fee. The current fee is 34 cents.

Dubberly said 886 students are registered with the DRC.

Shuman said the DRC budget of $150,000 from students fees is built on five Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services for deaf students, and they only have three.

Shuman said last year the DRC only spent $114,000. She said said that, unless they know there’s going to be demand, she recommends they reduce the fee.

Director of Health Promotions Shelly Purser did not request an increase in the Health Promotions student fee.

“We might have to ask for an increase at a later date,” Purser said, “but we’re going to go with what we have for now.”

The current fee is $4.07 per credit hour. Last year Health Promotions was granted a five-cent increase.

On Nov. 19, Athletics and Transportation Services presented.

Athletics Director Lee Moon made a request for a $0.47 per credit hour increase to Athletics fee.

“The student fee has obviously increased a great deal,” Moon said. “But we’ve reduced the percentage difference in what we’re generating.”

Moon’s request said the increase would also fund increased coaching staff with full-benefitting positions, primarily for the men’s soccer team.

The SFAC noted a minimal increase in sponsorship marketing for the Athletics Department, which Moon attributed to NCAA financial reporting rules. Moon mentioned that the university will be getting coverage on ESPN 3 starting in January, which will also increase revenue for department sponsorship.

“We’ve absorbed a lot of our budget into the Foundation,” Moon said. “Things that have grown that we have made investments in, that doesn’t really show up here. That impacts our overall budget.”

George Androuin, director of Business and Parking Services, requested no increase to the $4.08 per credit hour Transportation Access fee. Androuin did recommend an additional shuttle stop to serve students who live in the recently purchased The Flats at Kernan.

“We’re kind of contemplating at this point maybe installing two new bus stops,” Androuin said. “Essentially relocating the one that currently exists in [Lot] 53 to another location that’s more convenient for students and then one actually in The Flats.”

The current fee would be able to support the changes to shuttle service, according to the shuttle budget assessment proposal.

The SFAC is made up of eight members – four appointed by the university president and four by Student Government president. The chair is appointed by both.

The next SFAC meeting will be held Dec. 2 at 3 p.m.

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Email Lydia Moneir at [email protected]