By Hayley Heath
Each student pays a student activity fee of $200 per year in his or her tuition bill, but many students continue to wonder how the funds are utilized.
These fees pay for campus-wide programs, performers and entertainment. The money is budgeted amongst Wesleyan Activities Council (WAC), Student Government Association (SGA) and general clubs and organizations.
“The fee contributes to major campus events and traditions, including Welcome Week, Glow Party, Marlinstock, Homecoming, Halloween, Christmas Tree Lighting, Spa a la Marlin and Spring Fling. It funds performers such as comedians, magicians, hypnotists, poets and lecturers. It brings novelty items [bubble soccer and t-shirts] to campus. It allows Student Activities to host movies and games such as Grocery BINGO. It supplements events organized by other departments, such as Strike Out Cancer. It allows SGA to organize Pub ‘n Club,” Director of Student Activities Kate Griffin said.
Griffin said it is tough to describe exactly how the funds are allocated between groups.
“It is difficult to give an exact percentage. That’s because the clubs/organizations and WAC budgets are both housed within the umbrella of the Student Activities budget, which also pays for things such as Club Fair and Student Organization Training,” Griffin said.
The activity fee is also used to help offset the cost for students to go on trips, such as the RecX sponsored Florida Keys trip. The Marlin’s on Ice event held this past weekend was also funded by the activity fee.
“Clubs receive start-up funding for basic expenses such as making copies. This money goes into an on-campus agency account for each club and organization that they can safely keep their money,” Griffin said. This start-up money, generated from the activity fee, is given to clubs at the beginning of the fall semester, according to Griffin.
E.L.I.T.E MARLINS Step Team President junior Sa’kia Tapper said she was not aware of start-up funds.
“We wasn’t notified of any start-up fee. We only were told that we had a club account,” Tapper said.
The step team’s funds were derived from the Chat Contest and fundraisers they took part in independently.Tapper also said she made all of the flyers for her team on the computers on campus.
“We hosted an ROTC Festival last spring with the support of Student Activities and found working with Kate to be an efficient process,” ROTC Advisor Amy Rush said.
The money from the fee does not go toward Greek Life events. These groups pay membership fees, and that money collected goes to the organizations those groups fall under (Panhellenic or Interfraternity Council). Sororities and Fraternities do receive on-campus agency accounts so they have a safe place to store their money. However, they are responsible for funding their own events.
Griffin said the fee is not directly used for senior week activities.
“Senior Week activities are paid for by student registrations for the activities. They are supplemented by WAC and SGA. I believe the senior class gift is separate,” Griffin said.
The Club Request for Student Activities Funds Form, the form used to request supplementary funds, states if a club plans to host an event that will cost additional money, they can request funding support from Student Activities. Approval is at the discretion of the Director of the Student Activities and is based on rationale for the request and funds available.
According to the Faculty Request for WAC Funding Support form, WAC’s budget supports activities that increase campus involvement, strengthen connections, support the academic mission of the College, broaden cultural awareness, engage students of varied backgrounds, develop leadership skills and provide a fun campus atmosphere. This form is filled out by any faculty member that needs funds to help pay for special events such as guest speakers or musicians. The request must be approved by WAC, and the money from their budgeted amount of the activities fee is used to pay for these events.
The Marlin Chronicle is funded by the Activity Fee.