Student Activity Fees: Get Your Money’s Worth

Sara Moriarty, Feature Editor

All undergraduate students, both commuters and residents, pay a student activity fee, which is $101 per semester.  You don’t necessarily have to be on campus 24/7 and highly involved in organizations and activities to see your money in action. But being involved and active on campus is a guaranteed way to make the most of the student activity fee.

Those involved on campus certainly see their money by going to events; from fashion shows to pizza gatherings, it is, for the most part, fairly easy for students to get their money’s worth of activities out of the activity fee.

“It’s your money. It gets spent on a lot of cool things that people don’t take advantage of,” sophomore psychology major Eric Medina-Rivera said. “If you want to see your money get put to good use, then go to events.” Medina-Rivera is the treasurer of Psychology Club and a senator for the Pace Drama Alliance.

The bottom line is that if you don’t make time to go to events, you are missing out on what your much of your activity fee is going toward.

“It can be a struggle to be involved, especially for commuters,” Medina-Rivera said. “But you need to make the time and want to go to events.”

Sungi Clark, Vice President of Finance of the Student Government Association (SGA), expressed a similar view.

“It depends on how involved [students] are. If they go to events, they will see money,” Clark said.

However, there are ways to have a say in how the money is spent even if you are not involved on campus, or lack the time to go to events held throughout the semester.

Commuters who have any issues at Pace can go to the Commuter Advisory Board (CAB), with those concerns. CAB can submit requests for funds for beneficial events or items on behalf of commuters, thus allowing those who may not be on campus all that often to have a say in how their money is spent.

The Student Government Association can also submit Budget Management System (BMS) forms on behalf of anyone at Pace.

A prime example of this SGA representation involves the issue of the pool sticks in the commuter lounge. The pool sticks were horrible, making it a difficult task to play pool. Most of the commuters and residents who spend time in the commuter lounge were aware of this dismal situation. To solve this, SGA, on behalf of those who frequent the commuter lounge, submitted a BMS form to request funds for new pool sticks. (As one who can commonly be found in the commuter lounge, I would like to express my appreciation for this SGA representation.)

Commuters who may not have time to stay after classes for events can therefore see some of their money at work by playing pool between classes.

The activity fee paid by all goes wherever it is approved to go by the Budget Allocation Committee (BAC). Organizations on campus can put in a request for funds for events that can benefit the entire student body and that do not exclude anyone.

“No organization is allowed to request money for something that is not open and beneficial for all of Pace’s population,” Clark said.

Again, while it is possible to have a voice in the matter of activity fee spending whether you hold are involved on campus or not, it is a good idea to take advantage of all the events Pace has to offer. This is a surefire way to get your money’s worth of campus activity.

For more detail on how BAC meetings and budget requests work, take a look back at the article “What happens at budget meetings: the breakdown,” on the Pace Chronicle website.