Service Fee Provides Students Many Benefits

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Students at GCC pay a $15 student fee that helps finance many important organizations and projects on campus. This fee is mandatory, and if not paid, students cannot partake in classes.

“I just pay the fee not knowing. No questions asked. I would love to know where my money goes,” said GCC student Olivia Jung. Most of the student body just pays this fee without having an understanding about what their money is being used for.

“A lot of people ask about the student service fee,” said John Bowlby, ASGCC representative of finance. “The $26 students pay per unit does not go to the school. It goes to the state.”

The required $15, which students pay for the student fee at the time of registration, goes directly to the college; the money is split among ASGCC, GCC’s general fund, and an Emergency Supplemental Fund used during budget cuts.

Each one receives $5 of the $15 fee amounting to approximately $200,000 per year.

The $5 that goes directly to ASGCC is used to cover over 40 accounts from A.S. supplies to sports teams.

The ASGCC’s allocation also sends ASGCC Representatives to Sacramento for student government functions, and supports on-campus activities.

“It is because of the $15, that you see the activities you do, like the Taiko Drummers,” said Erik Yesayan, AS vice president of finance.

“Most importantly we give money to the clubs,” said Yesayan. The clubs receive $10,000 from ASGCC each year.

These are clubs that are official and registered through ASGCC and IOC. Their request for money goes through the IOC, and then to ASGCC where the funds are then voted out.

Campus Project Support (CPS) also comes out of the $200,000 that ASGCC receives from its portion of the student fee. Each semester ASGCC puts aside $25,000 for CPS.

The money is used to help fund projects that a school department or organization would need money for that would benefit the student body. These projects could be anything from buying a printer to purchasing a new computer.

“The Graphic Arts department requested CPS funds to purchase a new computer with three-dimensional art graphics,” said Yesayan. This helped them improve their graphic arts program, and gave students better technology to create 3 Dimensional art.

An organization that needs funding for a project can present its case to ASGCC and request up to $3,000 from the ASGCC legislature.
“Last semester we had $83,000 in requests, and could only give $25,000,’ said Yesayan. The legislature holds interviews with the organizations, and then votes who gets the money.

The second $5 of the student fee goes directly to GCC, and goes into the school’s general fund.

ASGCC has no voice in how the college uses this money in its general fund.

The Emergency Supplemental Funding Support (ESFS) receives the remaining $5 of the student fee. The ESFS is only activated when there are budget cuts.

The ASGCC legislature votes each year on whether ESFS should be funded and activated for the following year. If ASGCC decides not to fund ESFS for the next year the student fee would go back down to $10 for that year, but if ESFS funds were needed for next year ASGCC would vote to raise the student fee back to $15.

“The district budget is about $62 million, and the state has been cutting things back,” said Bowlby. “This is why the ESFS is so important.” ESFS really helps departments that would be cut back or canceled when the school and state are faced with budget cuts.
ASGCC officers vote where the ESFS money should go. “We vote on what services we think are important to the students,” said Yesayan.

Because of the ESFS, the GCC library was awarded $32,868 to keep it open longer, and have extended hours during finals week.

“All the money we get from the student fee goes right back to the students,” said Yesyan. “It is very important for the funding of the school, and without it many activities, services, and organizations would suffer.”