According to CCSC last night, it’s all about the money money money. Fancy financier Jessie-Joe Milholland gives you the real talk about all the money talk.
The Columbia College Student Council approved a proposal to admins to raise the student activities fee (part of student life fees) by $4.50 a semester on Sunday night.
The vote came after VP of Finance Michael Li guided the council over the nuances of the proposed change. Of the $739 a semester that CC students pay in student life fees, $108 currently go to student activity fees, which goes to CCSC, which spends it on governing boards or student council events. Student life fees has increased in the past couple of year but not student activity fees. Student group spending has also increased. Li calculated the $4.50 increase based on the governing board increases and the number of CC/SEAS students.
While the increase will technically be $54,000 a year, it will actually only be an approximately $37,000 increase because ESC has been spending about $10,000 over budget for the last few years because of a large surplus. The money is intended for governing boards, but, since half of F@CU will be people elected in the spring, there is nothing officially requiring the money to go to governing boards. Li said that there’s the potential that CCSC could be overfunding governing boards if the increase happens, but there’s no way to raise the fees without running into this issue.
Both ABC and SGB have had to make cuts. SGB actually had 2-3 budget appeals this year, but they were able to fund them through the surplus. According to Tony Lee, president of ABC, 21 groups applied to be recognized this year (“a record”), and 7 were accepted (the usual number). The maximum allocation for new groups is $250 a semester. ABC groups are hurting because Barnard Printing suddenly closed and tech and security fees are increasing. Also, according to ABC Treasurer Jared Greene, the Accounting Department has made it more difficult to get reimbursed.