Apr 122010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Students could be paying as much as a beer at the Ramskeller each semester to assist The School of the Arts in catching up to other comparable programs.

The Student Fee Review Board, which evaluates budgets from all university entities, endorsed the annual $5.88 increase Monday. The SFRB will present a comprehensive student fee package to the CSU System Board of Governors in May.

The increase will fund musical, dance and theater productions. Tim Hole, vice president of the Associated Students of CSU and chair of SFRB, said the School of the Arts hopes to add staff in creative services to allow more hands-on deck in the months before a show.

Those jobs include:
$26,171 for a nine-month assistant technical director position,
$29,970 for a 10-and-a-half-month master electrician position,
$25,020 for a nine-month costume stitcher/draper position, and
$25,020 for a nine-month sound master position.

The proposed budget also allocates money to an increase in salary and work-time for the Costume Shop Manager and Scenic Shop Charge Artist.
SOTA currently collects $12.36 per student from student fees, or $305,668 annually. The proposed budget would up the tab to $18.24 per student, or $436,400.

The presentation included an increase in funding used to prepare for an event, Hole said.

“(Presenters said) production costs went way up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and they mentioned that those cost never went down,” he said.

Matt Strauch, a junior performing arts major and ASCSU spokesperson, said CSU’s program is not at the “benchmark” of other programs of its caliber.

The University of Northern Colorado’s arts program supports 340 students, five full time and two part time technical staff members.

CSU’s program has 180 enrolled students but only employs two full time and two “professional bridge” positions for recent graduates looking to gain job experience before applying to graduate school.

Ryan Maecker, an SFRB representative, said when the program puts on a production they do so with a skeleton staff and are hoping to break even rather than collect revenue.

During its meeting, the board also denied a $2 increase for the Association for Student Activity Programming, which currently receives $7.46 a semester from students.

SFRB board member Matt Worthington said ASAP’s request, which would allocate the extra funding to increasing student-initiated programs, “didn’t sell him” because each year the organization could give the same presentation.

“We need more accountability –– looking at what the right amount of programming is for their office,” Worthington said.

ASCSU President-elect Cooper Anderson and Vice President-elect Jennifer Babos asked for 75 cents per-semester –– $33,563 total each year –– increase in student fees during their budget pitch.
The increase would fund:
$15,308 to Student Media,
$11,000 to Student Funding Board, which doles out money to student organizations,
$5,000 to the annual CSU handbook, and
$2,255 to cushion other areas of the budget.

ASCSU currently receives $1.7 million annually, or $35.17 per student per semester, in fees.

The board will vote on ASCSU’s student fee increase during its meeting next Monday.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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