Allocable segregated fees vital to campus, not something to ‘opt-out’ of
Last week, Gov. Scott Walker presented a new budget proposal to the Wisconsin Legislature. Part of this proposal includes the possibility for UW System students to “opt-out” of paying allocable segregated fees in the future.
If implemented, this aspect of the proposal could be disastrous for student organizations. Regarding allocable fees, the proposal reads: “They provide support for campus student activities and services that are allocated by campus student government and university chancellors. Allowing an opt-out helps students make the decisions on what they do and do not want to fund.”
Although the specifics of the plan have yet to be determined, one can’t help but imagine what this might be like. Imagine possibly being able to scroll down a list and decide which organizations you do not like. Even worse, imagine being part of a student organization that is important to you and finding out that your fellow students have made the conscious decision not to support you.
UW-River Falls has an abundance of student organizations, covering everything from identity-based to major-based interests. They provide a way for us to find our place and to connect with people with interests similar to our own.
Aside from social support, student organizations are a way to prepare us for the real world. Some of them can help us build our resumes or act as stepping stones that may help to bridge the gap between being a student and holding a full-time career. They also give us chances to get to know the advisors of our organizations better, because we’re interacting with them outside of the classroom.
Additionally, a huge part of the campus community comes from the events and consistent offerings that come from these fees. Events through the Office of Student Involvement, such as Homecoming and Family Weekend, for example, are funding through allocable segregated fees.
Some of the allocable segregated fees are so minuscule that opting-out of them would barely make an impact on our semester charges. For example, the fee that covers student media organizations is only $3 this semester. The fee for sport clubs is only $5. These fees may be convenient for us to “opt-out” of paying, but they are so vital to our experiences as students.
We are tremendously opposed to this aspect of Walker’s budget proposal. If it does pass, we encourage the students of the future to “opt-in” to every allocable segregated fee possible. They make this campus community complete.