New Student Fee Board created; applicants sought for at-large members

October 26, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new Student Fee Board will give students more opportunity to be directly involved in the creation and allocation of student fees in support of services and programs at University Park.

The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) were instrumental in the creation of the new board, which is now seeking applications for five at-large members.

To apply, students can go to http://bit.ly/StudentFeeBoard. Any student is eligible, and candidates with a diverse range of experiences, academic study and years at Penn State are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Friday, Nov. 4.

The Student Fee Board will simplify the student fee system under which students paid three fees: a student activities fee, a facilities fee, and a technology fee. Each category was managed by a separate group and had varying levels of transparency and student control.  

The new one-fee model combines the previously fragmented fees under the Student Fee Board, which will oversee allocation to student activities, facilities, recreation and services.

“The benefit of the new system is that everything is under one committee,” said Kevin Horne, GPSA president. “It will be more transparent, because the board will generate a report that details where every dollar is being spent.”

The board is made up of a mix of voting and non-voting members, including members from student government, UPAC, and the five at-large seats. In addition, the vice president for Student Affairs, the vice president for Finance and Business, and the provost will sit on the board as non-voting members. 

The board will actively meet with students who have requests for projects throughout the year. Early in the spring semester, the board will vote on the fee level for the following year.

“With the consolidation of the student fees, the student members of the Student Fee Board will have the ability to determine what the fee is used for,” said Terry Ford, UPUA president. “This is a stark contrast from the current fee system where resources are rigidly tied down based on how they are collected.”

The flexibility with how the money is spent is a primary benefit of the new system, according to Horne. Under the previous system, if all of the facilities money, for example, was not spent in a given year, that money could not be transferred to another area where there was more need.

“Now we have the chance to move dollars around to various categories based on need,” said Horne. “Also, if we don’t spend all the money in a given year, we can vote to lower the fee.”

The new system also provides flexibility for one-time projects since the fee can be adjusted yearly.

The Student Fee Board will oversee student fee allocation at University Park. A similar board, modeled on the University Park Student Fee Board, will be created to address the fee structure at the campuses.

Students interested in applying for a position on the Student Fee Board should submit an application at http://bit.ly/StudentFeeBoard. For more information, contact Barry Bram, senior director of Student Engagement Programs, at bqb7@psu.edu.

Last Updated April 19, 2017