Following block and line-item allocation bills passing in Student Senate on Wednesday night, senators are gearing up for fee review for the 2020 fiscal year.
The Finance Committee passed the bill to fund the fiscal year 2020 line-item allocations on Wednesday night. Line-items are funding requests made annually by student organizations at the University, including KU Dance Marathon, French Club and KU Mock Trial.
They also passed the bill to fund the fiscal year 2020 block allocations, which are for larger University organizations such as the Spencer Museum of Art and the KU Natural History Museum.
Collectively, the committee passed bills to allocate over $1 million towards line-item and block organizations.
Fiscal year 2019 proposed the largest fee increase since 2009, with a $25.20 increase per semester for student fees. The increase caused frustration among senators and students, as in the eight years prior, student fees increased by only $11 in total.
Current Finance Chair Seth Wingerter predicts fiscal year 2020’s fee review will bring only a slight increase to student fees.
“I don’t foresee [the fee increase] to be nearly as dramatic this year,” Wingerter said. “I feel comfortable with a small increase because rising tuition is still a huge deal, but we’re very careful with how we delegate student dollars.”
Members of the Finance Committee expressed their frustration to last year’s large increase due to the effect it would have on students.
“What [fees] do affect is the quality of life on this campus,” former Finance Chair Chance Maginness said in a previous interview with the Kansan.
Fee review is a process that allocates money for mandatory student fees, which are included in tuition costs and go toward student services. The largest entities that receive money through Student Senate are the recreation center, on-campus buses and Watkins Health Center.
During fee review, about 15 different entities present their fee request over a course of three days, and Senate ultimately decides how to allocate those fees. Fiscal year 2019’s student fees were $482.95, which adds up to roughly $22 million allocated in total.
Wingerter and the rest of the fee review committee’s priority is to ensure students’ fees are being used effectively.
“We take our commitments extremely seriously, and we want to make sure every student gets every one of their dollars as well spent as possible,” Wingerter said.
Student Body President Noah Ries said it is unclear whether the $20 million budget cut is going to have an impact on student fees.
Fee review begins Thursday, Feb. 21. Definitive numbers will not be known until after Saturday, Feb. 23, when the committee decides on a number.