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Facilities Fee Advisory Committee Releases Data & Wants Your Ideas

This survey was submitted by UPUA President Anand Ganjam and GPSA President Danielle Rhubart.

Each semester, every student enrolled at Penn State University Park must pay a $120 Facility Fee. These fees are pooled together and used on improvements and expansions to non-academic, recreational, and multi-use space for students. The usage of the fee is decided by the Facilities Fee Advisory Committee (FFAC), and it wants your input!

In early November of 2014, the committee launched the “FFAC Idea Campaign.” This campaign is an opportunity for students to submit their ideas for how we should allocate this year’s funding. Proposals can be submitted here or through the UPUA’s What to Fix (WTF) program at pennstateupua.com/wtf.

The FFAC was first established during the 2008-2009 academic year as a student-driven group that is tasked with making recommendations for the spending of student facilities fee funds. Co-Chaired by the Presidents of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), the board consists of 8 students as well as Senior Administrators including the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, and the Athletic Director. With the exception of larger scale efforts such as the construction of new buildings that require approval from the Board of Trustees, the FFAC has the predominant authority over the allocations of the facilities fee, and is one of the premiere examples of student influence at the Pennsylvania State University.

Past projects that have been funded by the facilities fees include:

  • Intramural Building Expansions
  • HUB Expansion and Renovation Project
  • Schwab Auditorium Renovations
  • Osmond Building Lobby Renovations
  • White Building North Air Conditioning
  • Additional Intramural Fields

The table below shows the cash flow for the student Facilities Fee over the past six years. While at present day, the FFAC shows approximately a 30 million dollar deficit, future Student Facilities Fee funds will be utilized the cover the deficit. This flexibility allows for expenditures on large scale projects such as the HUB Expansion.

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.54.16 AM

Although the FFAC is operating at a deficit, each year $250,000 is set aside for the committee to utilize for smaller projects. Potential initiatives currently being explored include the addition hydration stations around campus, extra bike racks, and large screen televisions in the Kern Graduate Building.

For more information about the ins and outs of the FFAC, you can visit its new website at ffac.psu.edu. And remember to submit your proposal for the facility fee’s use here.

About the Author

Anand Ganjam

UPUA President.

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