The average student pays $225 per semester in university facility fees.
And while some students at CSU may be wondering where that money goes, they need to look no further than campus-wide construction projects like Engineering II, Morgan Library and other classroom upgrades.
The money is looked after by a powerful student-run organization comprised of 16 individuals representing all eight CSU colleges that meets biweekly and is known as the University Facility Fee Advisory Board, or UFFAB.
â€œThe money that UFFAB collects is paying for state of the art facilities across campus,â€ said graduate student and Chairwoman Tamla Blunt.
But not all construction on campus is paid for by UFFAB.
â€œWeâ€™re focused mostly on classroom facilities,â€ Blunt said. â€œFees paid to housing and dining services paid for dorm renovations. The rec center remodeling was paid for by the student rec center fee. The indoor practice field was paid for by studentsâ€™ athletics fee.â€
Colleges interested in constructing a new building at CSU with student money go through a lengthy process of asking for permission from various university bodies, starting first with UFFAB.
Once they give their presentation to the 12 students, UFFAB discusses the merits of their proposal by asking questions like, â€œHow many students does it benefit? How many students will be using the space?â€ said UFFAB Member-at-Large Justin Safady. â€œIf it doesnâ€™t meet the criteria, the project doesnâ€™t get off the ground.â€
Once the advisory board is done reviewing the information it has been presented on a project proposal, it makes a recommendation to the Student Fee Review Board, which votes to pass or fail the idea.
â€œIf it passes, then it goes to the Associated Students of CSU Senate,â€ Blunt said.
The final decision makers include the office of university operations, and CSUâ€™s Boardof Governors.
â€œWeâ€™re really the ones that make complete decisions on what projects get funding and what doesnâ€™t get funding,â€ Safady said.
Studentsâ€™ needs are reflected in the choices UFFAB makes, Blunt said, because the organization actively seeks the campusâ€™s input.
â€œLast spring, we sent out an email. It said, â€˜Hey, do you know what your UFFAB fee is paying for?â€™â€
Blunt said. â€œPat Burns — our ex-officio advisor and vice president for Information and Instructional Technology — took time to answer every email response.â€
The group also puts signs up in the classroom being renovated letting fee-payers know where their money is going.
â€œAs any committee tries to do, we try as hard as we can to represent the student body,â€ Saffady said.
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Projects UFFAB is currently funding
- Engineering II: $65 million total, $30 million from UFFAB funds
- Morgan Library Renovation, Cafe, and Cube Addition: $17 million total, $16.8 million from UFFAB funds
- Animal Sciences: $4 million total, all from UFFAB funds
- Visual Arts: $3.2 million total, all from UFFAB funds
- Eddy Hall: $3 million total, all from UFFAB funds
- Forestry: $2.8 million total, all from UFFAB funds
- Early Childhood Center: $1.4 million total, $1.2 million from UFFAB funds
- Miscellaneous Classroom Upgrades for Anatomy Zoology, Gifford, Shepardson and Physiology
- Buildings: $1 million total, all from UFFAB funds