Every year, you pay over $1,300 in student life fees. You’re probably wondering where this money ends up. Bwog has already determined that most of it doesn’t go to Lerner Pub, ponchos, or the New York Times. So what does it go to? Thanks to CCSC all of our wonderful student councils, the administration has agreed to release a full breakdown of this year’s fee.

Turns out you’re mostly paying for Athletics and CUIT. Some money also goes to CCE, printing services (you didn’t think those 100 sheets/week were free, did you?), housing. But those of you who enjoy “cross-cutting multi-school activities” will probably be disappointed; turns out only $2 of your $1,396 fee goes to those.

The following is a breakdown of the 2012 -2013 Student Life Fee:

Lerner – $62
Student Activity – $216
Cross-Cutting Multi-School Activities – $2
House Fee – $220
Athletics – $390
Career Services – $66
Information Technology – $376
Printing – $64
Student Life Fee Total – $1,396

Along with the breakdown above, Shollenberger sent along a detailed summary of exactly what service improvements the fee funded. Accountability!

How Student Life Fees Were Spent in 2011-2012
During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Student Life Fee annual percentage increase was 2.7 percent. We would like to share the following details about how the Student Life Fee was utilized, including enhancements and student benefits:

Student Affairs
Student Affairs develops programs and services that foster community, ensure a respectful and inclusive environment, and enrich the overall student experience at Columbia. A portion of the Student Life Fee funds the following areas:

  • The Fee is used to support two critical offices within Student Affairs: the Office of Residential Programs and the Office of Judicial Affairs. The funds are used to support basic operational increase associated with providing services to the entire undergraduate community which include ongoing support for “Advocate”, the electronic system used by Judicial Affairs and Residential Program.
  • The Office of Residential Programs continues to enhance its programming efforts for students, with particular respect to alcohol and drug education, the Faculty-in-Residence program, and the alumni series sponsored by the Dean-in-Residence. Residential Programs also provides emergency response and highly specialized services to students and families 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Student Activities
Student Activities is committed to helping students enhance leadership skills and to explore the co-curricular opportunities available at Columbia. A portion of the Student Life Fee funds the following areas:

  • The Student Activities Fee directly funds undergraduate student councils and their respective classes, governing boards, and common funds and operational initiatives. Student Activities funds were used to support the student organizational cost increases for such items as catering, room rentals, and costs associated with the HR reclassification of instructors for club sports and other student organizations.
  • The Cross-Cutting Multi-School Activities Fee funds the Interschool Governing Board. The Board was created by the University Senate to represent and serve the needs of Columbia University student organizations whose mission is interschool in nature and whose membership includes students from various schools in the University, including graduate students.

Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education
The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education is committed to serving the University Community, and ensuring continual access to our programs for all students. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education utilizes revenue from the student term bill to fund many initiatives and programs to better serve the Columbia student community.

  • The department has enhanced Dodge Fitness Center, intramurals and club sports, as well as maintaining free admission to athletics contests and increasing contest-related promotions for students.
  • The department provides free access to the Dodge Fitness Center for all students who pay the Student-Access Fee on their term bill.
  • The department invested funds in facility operations at the Dodge Fitness Center to expand operating hours, increase daily facilities maintenance, and lease new state-of-the-art fitness equipment (every two years).
  • The department now features a dedicated director of intramurals and club sports. Previously, management of this area fell to an individual with dual-responsibilities for facilities operations.
  • The department now sponsors more annual intramural competitions than in previous years. The number of participants in our club sports program (through 2010-11) has increased by 77% since 2003-04. The number of participants in our intramurals program (through 2010-11) has increased by 36% since 2003-04.
  • Funds from the Student Term Bill enable the department to provide complimentary admission for Columbia students to all ticketed athletics contests, unlike other Ivy League and NCAA Division I Athletics programs.
  • With enhanced revenue made possible by the Student Term Bill, the department has initiated special promotions and projects to make our football game-day atmosphere more student- and fan-friendly.
  • We provide free shuttle buses to home football games from 116th Street and Broadway for every home football contest.
  • Our pre-game picnic area, hosted in collaboration with University Event Management, provides free beverages for students and all fans.
  • With enhanced revenue made possible by the Student Term Bill, the department has increased promotions and sports marketing activities directed to students, across all sports, including the Student Rewards Program, initiated in 2008-09.


Center for Career Education (CCE)
With support from the Student Life Fee, the Center for Career Education has enhanced employer outreach, increased job and internship postings and grown the number of domestic and international internship programs. Some supporting facts follow:

  • Job and internship postings in LionSHARE grew in 2010-11 to 16,303, an increase of 58% over the previous academic year. The total number of employers engaged and posting those positions grew to 7,843, an increase of 42% over the previous year. On-campus recruiting has also increased. A total of 5,730 interviews were held on Columbia’s campus in 2010-11, an increase of 9%.
  • CCE had a full agenda of employers visiting campus this fall for information sessions and on campus recruiting activities, programming and interview schedules. Despite the continued economic downturn, both the 2011 Fall Career Fair and Engineering Career Fair were filled to capacity with over 130 employers at each. CCE 2012 Spring Career Fair also had over 130 employers and the 2012 Start up Career Fair had 50 employers.
  • CCE-specific internship programs have also grown. In summer 2011, the Columbia Experience Overseas (CEO) program grew from five international locations (Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai and Singapore) to six (adding Amman). In summer 2012, CEO will add on a seventh city location in Istanbul. Domestically, the innovative new Columbia Exploration Externship, a shadowing program for first-year students will launched during Spring Break 2012. Additionally, we are excited to announce the new Columbia College Alumni- Sponsored Student Internship Program (CCASSIP), a program designed to give Columbia College students a chance to work in the organizations of Columbia College alumni. This program will also launch in summer of 2012 with students in a variety of locations and industries throughout the world. Other programs such as the Science Technology Engineering Program (STEP), Columbia Arts Experience, Virtual Internship Program, Columbia University Internship Network (CU In), and Columbia Communities in Action continue to remain robust and successful. In addition to the expanded employer outreach and alumni mentoring components associated with these programs, CCE enhanced professional development programming and pre-departure training for the participating interns. These initiatives began in 2007 with 3 programs serving 32 students. In spring/summer 2011 that number grew to 11 programs serving 123 students.

Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT)
A portion of the Student Life Fee, together with general University funding, funds key CUIT ongoing enhancements supporting students in the following areas:

  • Student Information System, SSOL, and financial aid system
  • Network, data center, and email
  • Help Desk, student labs and software, support for student computing
  • CourseWorks and related technologies
  • Classroom technologies

Most recent (2011-12) CUIT enhancements include the following:

  • Rollout of New CourseWorks system and migration of courses campus-wide to the new system.
  • Continued expansion and refresh of technology in classrooms, including 46 new e-classrooms over the past three years.
  • Increase in speed and reach of the campus wireless network, including wireless implementation in nearly all residence halls over the past three years.
  • Continuing increase in speed and reliability of the campus wired network.
  • Rollout of LionMail (Columbia Gmail and Google Calendar) for undergraduate students spring and summer 2012, followed by phased launch to graduate students beginning fall 2012.