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Student Fee Board Continues Deliberation Process

The University Park Student Fee Board continued its deliberation process Friday morning, reviewing several allocation requests to establish a general consensus before its final recommendation is determined next week.

The Board first discussed the University Park Allocation Committee’s (UPAC) request for an increase in funding, presented by UPAC Chair and non-voting Fee Board member Dan Stauffer last month.

“Besides the Campus Rec Team, I would say UPAC is the most visible sign of the student initiated fee,” said Board Chair Tyler Akers.

The Board examined the fund management system and relationship that exists between UPAC and the Fee Board, an increase in the organization’s operational costs that Stauffer attributed to security necessities, the organization’s summer allocation, and a notable increase in funding requests from student organizations and individuals.

“I think some of it is that groups are requesting more money, but a lot of it is that we’re also getting more programming requests,” said Stauffer. “The number of requests we got from last fall to this fall went up by just under 25 percent.”

The group also discussed the funding implications of its recent research travel policy change suggestion, which was tabled by the Board’s Steering Committee two weeks ago.

The Board failed to establish an unofficial consensus on the UPAC request, and said it would revisit the request and the organization’s standing allocation to reach a decision next week.

It then moved to the Office of Student Activities, focusing on the organization’s request for the funding of the salary of an adjusted program coordinator position and the fees associated with the implementation of its OrgCentral management program. The Board debated its ability to contribute to the partial funding of the establishment of the new program coordinator position.

It then addressed the organization’s increased request for social programming funding. The conversation trended toward a flat funding allocation, though no official decision was made. It also addressed the organization’s funding requests for retreats, and decided to request further information to reach a final decision next week.

Homecoming presented as a subdivision of the Office of Student Activities, and the Board discussed its proposal next. It addressed increased requests for the Allen Street Jam concert, which were attributed to performer honoraria and security fees, and other yearly events. It postponed an overall consensus, citing a need for further clarification.

Following Homecoming, the Board discussed Penn State’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Student Planning Committee’s request. The Board hesitated to grant the organization’s full request for an increase in honoraria costs for event speakers, but supported a smaller increase. It also discussed funding for the Committee’s service initiatives.

The Board will meet three times next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the hopes of finalizing its decision on a final Student Fee recommendation by its original vote deadline of February 22.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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