Student Services Fees Offer More Than Students Realize

The Student Services Fee provides students with several benefits each semester. (File photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

Each semester, students in the State of Kansas pay a student service fee. The fee – previously known as the Campus Privilege fee – is $ 465.48 for full-time undergraduate and graduate students. It supports many of the service benefits that students receive each semester. According to the Student Administration Association’s Student Services Fees page, these services include extracurricular, health, and education benefits.

Max Harman, senior in biochemistry and chair of the student services fee committee, said he was unsure whether students were aware of all of the benefits to which they are entitled.

“If I had to survey the student body, I would ask what they know to be available on campus due to student service charges,” Harman said. “I want people to be aware of all the great resources available to them. “

A quick poll of 15 first-year Marlatt Hall residents found they only knew the fees were helping fund the Peters Recreation Complex.

“Honestly, I didn’t realize the student service fees were significant,” said Paul Hartman, a first-year mechanical engineering student. “The only thing I had heard they were funding was the recreation center, but that’s it.”

Harman said the fee funds the recreation complex, but the largest student services unit funded by the fee is the Lafene Health Center.

“Lafene is receiving $ 5.6 million to manage the entire operation,” Harman said. “This includes employee salaries, medications and procedures, as well as any physical needs of the students. ”

The fees also provide funding for student mental health. Although now part of Lafene and renamed Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, the counseling center separately receives $ 843,000 to support its operations.

“Because of the fee, K-State students are entitled to eight free counseling sessions per semester, so every two weeks per semester you can see a counselor or psychologist in counseling services,” Harman said.

Harman said another benefit offered by the fees is access to legal services.

“Student Legal Services provides free and confidential legal advice to all students,” said Harman. “The lawyer, Sarah Barr, can help students with PIDs or any other problem. “

Harman said the student services fee committee uses a thorough process to determine whether each unit of money allocated is using the funds to their full potential.

“We look at entities that receive money at different times, usually every two or three years,” Harman said. “This is a three-week process in which the organization will first present what they want. Then we will assess what they have done with the money and then we can determine if we need to change the amount of money given to them.

The committee reviews Student Design Services, located on the lower level of the K-State Student Union. Harman said the unit provides an exciting service to students.

“Each student organization gets three free hours of graphic design work that they can apply for,” Harman said. “If they need a new logo or graphic for an event, there is a whole team housed within the Union that will do it free of charge for student organizations. “

Emma Beatty, a sophomore computer science student and Marlatt’s board member, said she wished she had known this particular benefit last year.

“I didn’t know this was available to me,” Beatty said. “It would have been great to know that last year while I was designing posters. Good to know for this year. I’m excited because we struggled last year to come up with designs.

Even though the committee is looking at design services for students, it still has the money for this school year to provide those services to students.

Last year’s committee allocated the money for this year’s budget. The budget decided from current reviews will be used in years to come, Harman said.

Harman said the committee was working to establish the actual amount of money available to give to organizations on campus this year.

“This week we had the 20th day of class,” Harman said. “We can now get the collections and registrations projections for this quarter. Over the next week or so, we’ll have those projections so we can see where we are in terms of money. “

Once the amount of money available has been determined, the committee will meet with the organizations under review, listen to their arguments, and consider the benefits to the students. These steps help the committee decide how much money each entity will receive, Harman said.

According to the Student Services Fee webpage, a committee made up of all students sets the annual fee that students must pay. They also look at the fees for each individual position and discuss long-term financial planning issues.

Harman said that while the administration must approve all committee decisions, K-State is extremely supportive of their students and their choices.

The full list of student service entity services can also be found on the website.