Chuck Fogland says the Associated Students of CSU Student
Funding Board has been allocating student fees in an unfair
Fogland, chairman of the CSU College Republicans, and other CSU
Republicans members collected signatures Wednesday on the Lory
Student Center Plaza to petition ASCSU to change its funding
practices. They collected almost 160 signatures on a petition
stating, “We resolve that the Funding Board of ASCSU shall not fund
any student organization (whose primary purpose and activities
support or oppose any political party).”
The SFB receives a portion of student fees, which it allocates
to registered student organizations.
“Any group that is a registered student organization has the
right to request funding,” said Linda Kuk, vice president for
Within all the student fees the university collects, ASCSU
receives approximately $22.80 per student, Kuk said. Half of this
goes to fund the Transfort bus system and the other half goes to
ASCSU spending and the funding board allocations.
SFB allocates money to organizations based on criteria
established in its bylaws. These bylaws state, “ASCSU will not fund
the general organizational and operational costs of registered
student organizations which are political, religious, housing and
recreational sports organizations, or fraternities and
Fogland argues that organizations such as Action Awareness and
the Palestinian Student Association are primarily political
organizations and for that reason should not receive funding.
“We just need to enforce the rules that are on the books,” he
said. “If they are going to fund (Action Awareness), they should
fund the other side. It needs to be a fair playing field.”
Mae Pagett, a member of Action Awareness, disagreed with Fogland
that funding the organization violates SFB bylaws.
“Every statement you make can be considered political,” said
Pagett, a junior sociology major. She said that Action Awareness is
not supporting any political candidate or party, but that it is
acting as an outlet for students to have their voices heard. “It is
crucial that despite what (students’) voice is, they should be
allowed a voice.”
Fogland and the CSU College Republicans plan to draft a contract
for organizations to sign when they receive funding indicating its
purpose. They will be using this draft and the signatures acquired
for their petition when they present to SFB next week.
SFB generally continues funding organizations throughout the
year until the money runs out, Kuk said. If students are unhappy
with the groups that are receiving funding from student fees, they
must go to SFB and appeal.
Fogland encourages “students to find out exactly where their
student fees are going.”
SFB bylaws define a political group as “any organization whose
primary purpose and activities support or oppose any political
party; support or oppose a ballot measure or a drive to put an
issue on the ballot measure; or support a candidate or group of
candidates formally running in an election for office.”
Once an organization is classified in a category allowing
funding, SFB cannot allocate fees based on the content of the
program, said Katie Clausen, vice president of ASCSU.
“(SFB) cannot make a decision on whether they like the program
or not,” Kuk said.
This is in part due to the Supreme Court decisions in Board of
Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth et al.
(2000). In this case, the court held “The First Amendment permits a
public university to charge its students an activity fee used to
fund a program to facilitate extracurricular student speech,
provided that the program is viewpoint neutral.”
This holding essentially said that ASCSU may use student fees to
fund student organizations so long as it does not allocate the
money on the basis of content.
Kuk said organizations request money for programming only.
“Student fee monies do not go for running organizations,” she
said. Organizations can have their funding revoked for mismanaging
the money, but not for political reasons, she said.
From the beginning
The process for allocating all student fees begins with the
Student Fee Review Board. SFRB reviews the allocation of all fees
outside of what goes to ASCSU to spend on the bus system, ASCSU and
student organizations. SFRB recommends funding for or against some
student services and whether or not to increase the funding of an
Then the board writes a report about why it voted for or against
an organization that is sent to Kuk. The board has finalized the
recommendation for this year and will do a final vote next week,
She reviews the recommendation to make sure everything is
complying with processes and procedures. Mainly she looks at
whether SFRB acted arbitrarily in making its decisions, but
generally everything is accepted, Kuk said. CSU President Larry
Penley then reviews the recommendation and sends it on to the Board
of Governors for the CSU System, which makes the final
If students are unhappy with paying student fees for any of the
services the fees go to, they can appeal to Kuk’s office.
“(A student) has to have a really unusual reason for wanting to
be exempt from the fees,” she said. Examples of viable reasons
include students studying abroad or full-time students living in
Denver and taking most classes online. In both these examples, the
students would likely not use the services provided by student
fees. If a student simply doesn’t like a fee and doesn’t want to
pay it, that is not a viable reason to be exempt from the fee, she
Kuk said very few students appeal. Last semester about 12
Kuk said students certainly can appeal fees, but just because
students choose not to use the services does not mean they don’t
pay for them.