Where do your dollars go?

 Uncategorized
Sep 062011
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

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.

“The money that UFFAB collects is paying for state of the art facilities across campus,” said graduate student and Chairwoman Tamla Blunt.

But not all construction on campus is paid for by UFFAB.

“We’re focused mostly on classroom facilities,” Blunt said. “Fees 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 students’ athletics fee.”

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, “How many students does it benefit? How many students will be using the space?” said UFFAB Member-at-Large Justin Safady. “If it doesn’t meet the criteria, the project doesn’t get off the ground.”

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.

“If it passes, then it goes to the Associated Students of CSU Senate,” Blunt said.

The final decision makers include the office of university operations, and CSU’s Boardof Governors.

“We’re really the ones that make complete decisions on what projects get funding and what doesn’t get funding,” Safady said.

Students’ needs are reflected in the choices UFFAB makes, Blunt said, because the organization actively seeks the campus’s input.

“Last spring, we sent out an email. It said, ‘Hey, do you know what your UFFAB fee is paying for?’”

Blunt said. “Pat Burns — our ex-officio advisor and vice president for Information and Instructional Technology — took time to answer every email response.”

The group also puts signs up in the classroom being renovated letting fee-payers know where their money is going.

“As any committee tries to do, we try as hard as we can to represent the student body,” Saffady said.

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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
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