Input needed, how to spend $800,000
Over $800,000 in excess student fees is in the reserve fund at Oregon State University-Cascades. At the Oct. 21 Associated Students of Cascades Campus council meeting, Jack Vanderlinden, student fee committee facilitator explained that that amount is rollover money from previous years.
“Year to year everything not spent goes into a surplus/reserve fund,” Vanderlinden said.
The committee is required to budget annually for a contingency fund, according to the SFC handbook. The fund has to maintain a minimum balance of 15 percent of the annual budget or $10,000, whichever is greater.
This year the SFC will not be adding as significant of an amount to the surplus compared to previous years.
“The gap between expenditures and collections has narrowed, this year we are not adding as much surplus to the reserve fund as years past,” Vanderlinden said.
The SFC obtains money every year through the Incidental Fees, which students pay along with tuition. These fees average around $420 per year for students or approximately $140 a term. The SFC and student council act as a system of checks and balance, ethically protecting the spending of student funds. The intention of having student fees is to finance campus activities and clubs, according to the OSU-Cascades Charter.
With recent enrollment increases and the creation of a permanent four-year university, demand for student fee requests is expected to increase as more clubs and programs become established.
A common goal for both the ASCC and the SFC is more student participation, said Castillo.
“We are always looking to increase student involvement and host open meetings once a week,” Castillo said.
ASCC and SFC are still deciding on future plans for the reserve fund, according to Vanderlinden.
“The year is young, we are still looking into possible options for the reserve fund,” Vanderlinden said. “There also are possible legal restraints when working with public funds.”