May 022011
 
Authors: Wendy Bowling

Over the past eight months the Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) has meticulously reviewed the budgets of various fee-funded areas on campus in a more than 80-hour process.

The SFRB reviews student fee-funded areas through seven viewpoint natural criteria’s as established by the SFRB bylaws. One of the decisions SFRB approved this year was the implementation of a $4 fee for Interpersonal Violence Response and Safety. SFRB spent hours scrutinizing every aspect of this fee increase in an effort to ensure that the process for a new student fee area was accurately followed and that the student body receives the most benefit for their dollar. After much debate, the SFRB approved the Interpersonal Violence Response and Safety fee in recognition of the overwhelming student initiated campaign and the need for increased resources and education around interpersonal violence on campus.
This added fee will be administered by the Women and Gender Advocacy Center and will provide much needed advocates for survivors of interpersonal violence, a men’s program coordinator, peer educators and year-round awareness campaigns. The Woman and Gender Advocacy Center provides crisis intervention and advocacy services for survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment. They also provide interpersonal violence prevention and education through various campaigns and outreach around campus.

Due to the current financial situation of the university, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center will be receiving budget cuts, and without this fee, will be unable to provide as many resources to address interpersonal violence on campus. This fee was proposed to give services and support to survivors of interpersonal violence and also provide support to secondary survivors (partners, friends, parents, etc.). According to the fee proposer, current available services around interpersonal violence are inadequate to meet the high demand, and this fee is intended to fill the gap, improve the services that can be provided and push for greater education and prevention.

The students of CSU brought forth this fee through a multi-month marketing campaign intended to educate CSU students on the current state of interpersonal violence response on campus, and the proposed additional funding will fill the need in services.

This is an extremely emotional issue on all sides, and the SFRB has been faced with many different stories and perspectives while deliberating the new student fee. There are many legitimate questions and concerns about creating a new student fee, how it will impact the financial picture for the student body in a time of increasing tuition and if the program adequately addresses the problem.

The 12-0-3 vote to approve this fee area does not adequately reflect the debate over this issue, and all of the concerns over this fee area have been explored thoroughly. When the facts are separated from the individual stories and emotional impact of the issue, the process followed by the proposers of the Interpersonal Violence Response and Safety Fee has met all guidelines established in the SFRB bylaws. Next year’s SFRB will have the benefit of the scrutinized information from this year when they decide whether or not to fund the fee next year.

The Student Fee Review Board serves as a liaison between the student body and the administration in determining the needs of the students and the levels and types of service they desire for their student fees. The SFRB ensures that this, and every other student fee funded area, is using their revenue efficiently in order to provide quality programs and services at the lowest, most equitable cost to the students of CSU.

Wendy Bowling is a Student Fee Review Board member.

 Posted by at 5:20 pm

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