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Minimal changes expected after budget presentation

by Kari Ashworth - Executive Editor
Sun, Mar 8th 2020 12:00 pm
The Joint Planning and Budget Committee hosted its annual fee-based budget presentations on Thursday, Feb. 27. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor
The Joint Planning and Budget Committee hosted its annual fee-based budget presentations on Thursday, Feb. 27. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis/ Photo Editor

The Joint Planning and Budget Committee hosted its annual fee-based budget presentations on Thursday, Feb. 27, in Seymour Union room 220. The meeting consisted of seven presentations from various areas on campus and was called to order by Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Wall.

The first presentation, led by Chief Information Officer Bob Cushman, was by the College Technology Council. This council focuses on the technology fee assessed to students.

Cushman explained the fee is used for specific technology needs, such as the online tutoring that is available, the text-based discussion boards, printing money, the adobe suite, the labs in the library, blackboard and much more.

No professional salaries are paid through this fee either, Cushman said. Without the fee, the technological needs of the college may not be met. 

“If we didn’t get a tech fee or had to lower [the fee], we’d have to cut some things or a full x,” Cushman said.

The council does expect a positive value in the next fiscal year, and it is not asking for a fee increase. This was based on student feedback.

The next presentation, led by Director of Hazen Center for Integrated Care Cheryl Van Lare, focused on health services. Unlike the technology fee, the campus health center fee is utilized for staffing costs. 

The health services fee also pays for a variety of other things, such as a dietician, massages, a psychiatrist from the Rochester Institute of Technology, supplies and medicine. 

This fee is applied to both full time undergraduate and graduate students and is assessed at $351 per school year. There is also a $25 fee assessed during winter session. 

Van Lare said the committee in charge of the fee hopes to see a $6 increase. This would be to maintain the services already in place, lest certain programs get cut from health services. 

While Van Lare said they are “really great” at writing grants, there are still some areas of need, such as new laptops for signing in that would promote privacy and accessibility, new windows and better means of privacy other than a noise machine.

Even with the decline in enrollment, Van Lare said more students have been utilizing the health center.

“With our declining enrollment, we’re seeing more visits and they’re taking longer,” Van Lare said. 

Director of Athletics Erick Hart presented the athletic fee next. Currently, the fee is assessed to undergraduate students only and is $485. 

Some expenses the athletics department have are bussing and food expenses. Some of this is made up in ticket sales and other resources, but the athletic fee pays for much of this. 

“Were generating more revenue than were costing the college,” Assistant Director of Athletics Danielle Drews said.

Athletics is a large part of the college, with 25% of freshman being on a roster on the first day of class. Even if all students do not stay on varsity sports, Hart said many stay on campus for the various club sports available. 

Director of Campus Recreation Scott Haines presented the department’s budget next. Currently, the fee assessed is $78 and is charged to undergraduate and graduate students, unless they are fully online. 

This fee deals with the management of the Special Events Recreation Center (SERC) and the equipment within it. 

Some money is made through renting out the SERC to Section V events, as well as the Tuttle North Ice Rink to Brockport High School, the Tri-County Youth Hockey League and open skate. Gym memberships also create revenue. 

However, expenses have continued to exceed revenue and are expected to this year as well. Equipment is in need of being replaced and the Zamboni is past its prime. 

Many students are getting their money’s worth by their usage of the gym, too. 

“Ironically, even though there seems to be less students, they seem to be more active,” Haines said. 

Director of Alumni Engagement Kerry Gotham presented its budget next. His presentation revolves around the optional A Gift to Brockport fee, which is now $30, opposed to the prior $25 fee, to include commencement costs. 

Faculty research and alumni-student activities are also covered by this fee, among other things. This is the only fee currently available for students to opt-out of. 

Associate Director of Career Services Stephanie Learn spoke next. Much of Career Services is facilitating students and potential jobs, and it holds a variety of events throughout the school year, such as the career fair and the etiquette dinner. 

This fee is $20 per year, and no increase was requested based on student feedback.

“The students consulted felt it was an appropriate fee,” Learn said.

 This fiscal year, Career Services will have a surplus due to employment changes. Because of these changes, the department hopes to expand more.

“Career Services is going through a lot of changes, and we’re trying to expand our services,” Career Services Coordinator Sarah Norris said.

The department would like to reach students prior to their final semester and be more involved in the internship process, rather than leaving that to faculty. 

The final two presentations were given by Director of Parking and Transportation Johanna Frosini. The transportation fee is $45 per school year and the parking fee is completely user-based.

The transportation budget includes the on campus, off campus shuttle. Some changes that will be implemented is reducing the amount of local and mall shopping trips available, creating a trial run on a fixed route to Brockport Downtown with three trips Monday through Thursday and creating a hardship grant in conjunction with BSG that would help with transportation costs. 

The parking budget includes car sharing services, meter upkeep, reserved parking spaces, parking permits and parking enforcement. As stated, parking is user-based.

“If you don’t bring a car to campus, if you don’t get a ticket, you don’t pay in,” Frosini said.

A $5 increase to the summer permit fee was requested, but other permit fees were suggested to stay the same. 

The meeting ended with an adjournment from Wall. 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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