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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

New student activity fee seeks to raise revenue

With funding for student government declining in the Contra Costa Community College District, a plan is being made to help substantially increase revenue.

The proposal, which may come up for a vote later in the semester is to collect $5 student activity fee at the time of registration, instead of making it the students choice when they buy a sticker.

Currently, out of 22 Bay Area community colleges, 10 charge a $1 student representation fee, 21 charge from $2-$10 for the student activity fee and nine charge a student center fee.

On March 23 Jennifer Ounjian, the director of student life at Contra Costa College, gave a presentation to the Governing Board for the Contra Costa Community College District on the proposal to rectify the situation at hand.

Ounjian said that with the colleges’ bookstores experiencing little to no profit for the past two years due to an accounting adjustment and the sticker sales declining due to the loss of incentive to purchase them, the district’s Associated Student Organizations have started looking for new ways to fund their existence.

California colleges whom charge the fee at the time of registration have a higher profit margin then those who sell the sticker at a separate time, Ounjian said. Additionally there are very few requests for refunds at those colleges.

A recent survey produced by the American Student Government Association indicated 0-5 percent of the students at the aforementioned colleges chose to “opt out” of the fees, Ounjian said. Several of the colleges indicated that no students ever request a refund of the fee. Brandon Amargo, the student trustee on the Governing Board, said, “the student activity fee is from the students, for the students.”

These fees would cover scholarships, athletics and anything students do on campus outside of the classroom, essentially student life.

This was promising for the other members of the governing board to hear, and they thought it would be a good idea to pass this. John T. Nejedly, president of the board, said, “If it is a fee from the students, for the students, it sounds like a good idea.”

If the stickers are mandatory in the future and sold at the time of registration for the $5 agreed upon with the ASOs, the Student Activity and Student Rep fees at DVC and Los Medanos College would actually go down from $7-8 respectively to $5.

Even with less money charged for the fees, a substantial increase in revenue would be created because of the amount of students paying into the fees. Every student registering for classes would pay into it.

“Of course there could be exceptions, if a student were taking less then 3 units, or if a student were on fee waivers,” Ounhian said. “The matter still needs to be finalized” said Amargo. “I will meet with the ASOs and get something back to you (the governing board) soon.”

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Stephen Langsam
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New student activity fee seeks to raise revenue