The financial cost for attending college is more than tuition, students also have fees built into their price of admission. How many students pay attention to these fees and what they’re used for? Here at Maui College students have five fees built into their semester bill that directly affects their campus experience, resources and opportunities: student government fee, student activity fee, board of student publication fee, technology fee and health center fee. The board of student publication fee of $4 per semester is used to produce the student planners handed out every semester and supports Ho’oulu.
Full time students pay a $36 technology fee; part time students pay $3 per credit technology fee. The technology fee is used to update computers, install software, and increase the wireless connectivity. Computers in the Kalama building lab have Photoshop, Adobe movie maker, 3-D programs for visual displays and much more all for students to use for free. The heath center fee supports the campus health center that provides “free or low-cost pap tests, birth control options, pregnancy testing, prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and emergency contraception”.
UHMC Student Government is a student group elected to advocate for all students to have the resources, class schedule and class offerings that allow students to graduate. Student government collects a $7.50 fee from full time students and $1 per credit from part time students. The fees collected support advocacy campaigns and outreach; such as, this semesters Float-the-Vote with root beer floats. The student government fee also provides stipends for the elected council and a $1,540 stipend to their faculty advisor. Student Government focuses on enrollment rates, graduation rates and everything between a student’s first day and graduation day that facilitates the ability for students to graduate.
UHMC Student Activities Council receives the same $7.50 from full time student and $1 per credit from part time students. The Student Activities Council also uses a portion of the student activity fees for a stipend for the nine student council members. Student Activities Council allocates a budget to support campus clubs and activities for student throughout the semester; for example, the monthly movies, Splash Bash and Earth Day Festival. Student Activities Council focuses on the campus experience and seeks to provide all students with a social outlet, sense of community and enjoyable campus activities.
Both Student Government and Student Activities Council are responsible for using the fees collected during the semester to support students, provide advocacy and activities during the semester for the students that paid the fee. However, there is a discrepancy in the fees collected. This semester Student Government has a budget of $20,000 while Student Activities Council has a budget of $17,000; they collect the same dollar amount from the same students. Furthermore, Student Government has a $540 carry-over added to their budget; the carry-over is from unspent fees from past semesters. Both budgets should be equal as both budget are for the chartered student organizations to improve the campus experience and graduation possibility for all Maui College students. The inconsistency between the two budgets reveals a lack of transparency as to how budgets are determined and where the student fees collected go.
Student Government recently elected Derae Shibata as the new president and Todd Brown as the new Vice-President. Student Activities Council is led by president Bryan Pluta. Together the Student Government and Student Activities Council can create more equitable budgets that can be used to support the students of Maui College. Producing more equitable budgets will also provide more transparency as to where the student fees collected go. For this semester, where did the missing $3,000 collected from the student activities fee go?
If you would like to find out more information on UHMC student fees: http://maui.hawaii.edu/tuition-fees/. If you would like to find out more about the Student Government Budget and how fees are allocated: http://maui.hawaii.edu/studentlife/student-government/spring2016_sgbudget/; http://maui.hawaii.edu/studentlife/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2011/08/Spring2016_SGBudget.pdf. If you would like to find out more information on the Student Activities Council budget and how fees are allocated: http://maui.hawaii.edu/studentlife/sac-meeting-minutes/sac-budget-spring-final/; http://maui.hawaii.edu/studentlife/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/2014/03/SAC-Budget-Spring-Final.pdf.
Editor’s Note: Pierre Parranto has graduated from UH Maui College and is no longer a student at the college.