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Pflugradt: If you’re reading this, student fees affect you

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Should The Sunflower take on a reduction more than $53,000 short of their student fees request for the second year in a row, they could possibly cease a print publication for the first time since their first print in 1896.

Tuition increases suck. We all know that. Those dollars, however, benefit each and every student on campus, depending on how well you take advantage of your opportunities.

Student fees do what they’re intended to do — they supplement student organizations. If you’re reading The Sunflower, you’re benefitting from student fees.

The Sunflower is funded largely by student fees. So too is campus recreation, student health, Student Government Association and other student support services and other university extracurricular organizations.

Every year, a student fees committee made up of student leaders from SGA and members of administration meet with campus organizations to hear requests for student fees. Then, upon the hearing, they consider the requests and formulate a proposal that will either be accepted or denied by student senate.

Student organizations, presented with the proposal ahead of time, are given a three-minute timeframe to speak on behalf of their organization to try and sway the senate to rethink the proposal.

What gets approved by the student senate then goes to President John Bardo for approval, and based on his track record, it’d be unexpected for him to decline their recommendation.

Each year, student fee recommendations fall short of most student organization’s requests. That includes The Sunflower, which will likely see a recommendation less than the requested amount.

With drops in enrollment, decisions for how to spend that money become more tedious.

Should the vote pass, The Sunflower and more than 10 other student organizations will be financially constrained through the next fiscal year.

This week, Student Body President Joseph Shepard said, “Student, take this weekend to reach out to your senate representatives regarding the student fee recommendation. We want to hear from you.”

And you should do just that.

If you’ve been at the university long enough, you might be aware of the change. If you’re a newcomer, next year you’ll likely see dramatic change.

As a student, you’re entitled to attend university fine arts productions free with your Student ID. Should the fine arts department not see an increase from the recommended $20,000 — $15,000 down from their requested amount — students will be charged to attend these events.

If you’re reading this, you’re affected by student fees. And as a student you should speak to your representatives in student senate before they vote in Wednesday’s senate meeting.

Take a vested interest in the student organizations at Wichita State and protect what you can. Don’t be silent, your student organizations can’t afford for you to.

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