The student activity fee is used to fund Student Government, campus clubs and activities. However, Student Government who controls the funds does not spend all the money collected. The representation fee is to be used to represent views of students with government bodies. However, the majority of the fee is used for Student Government to attend a conference in Washington, D.C.
Students pay several fees, a mandatory health fee ($20), transportation fee ($8 or $9 depending on number of credits taking) a representation fee ($1) and an optional activity fee ($10). Students who drive to campus also pay a $40 parking pass fee.
The fees are disproportional to part-time students as with the exception of the Transportation fee, all students pay the same regardless of number of credits taking. Kimber Ingalls, a previous part-time student and single mom expressed, “Paying the fees can be the difference between taking classes and not taking classes.”
The Student Activity fee is to fund student government and activities. Per the Las Positas Website, “An optional student Activities Fee of $10 will be assessed of all students each semester (excluding summer). Students paying this fee receive an activity sticker that provides discounts on student activities and sports events. The fee helps finance student activities, Las Positas College clubs, scholarships, the Student Center and other student-related services.”
The estimated income for the 2019-2020 academic year is $140,000. The largest expense, by far, is the Inter Club Council (ICC), which uses 44% of the amount collected. ICC supports more than 30 clubs on campus, each club receives funding of $500 per semester.
Second is Events, 15%, hosted by Student Government. The third program, 12%, is the textbook loaner program. Student Government purchases textbooks from the LPC Bookstore to lend to students who cannot afford to purchase textbooks.
Student Government Officer scholarships, 8.5%, funds the scholarships that Student Government receives for being part of Student Government.
LPC Program Support, 5.5%, is budgeted for donations, it is unknown what programs were funded by this is 2019.
The student activity fee money is not spent every year, the current budget has almost $30,000 in fees collected but not budgeted to be spent. Maxim Gikharev, Director of Finance, for Student Government says that he inherited this budget from his previous Directors of Finance. Looking at the budget there appears to be a carryover from previous years of over $100,000 from activity fees collected but not spent in previous years.
Another fee is the mandatory student representation Fee of $1. From the website “A mandatory Student Representation fee of $1 will be assessed of all students each semester or session. This fee is used for any purpose related to representing the views of students with governmental bodies.”
Per Gikharev, this fee is to increase to $2 next year with the addition dollar going to the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC). The mission of the SSCCC is “to pursue policies that will improve student access, promote student success, engage and empower local student leaders, and enrich the collegiate experience for all California community college students.”
This year Student Government has authorized $10,000 ($14,000 has been budgeted) for four students and an advisor to attend the National Student Advisory Conference in Washington DC in March. Only $1,500 has been allocated for lobbying.
At the 2019 Student Advisory conference in addition to attending seminars, the Las Positas Representatives met with legislative correspondents of multiple California congressional representatives where they advocated and lobbied for issues pertaining to community colleges as well to all citizens of the United States.
The Student Activity fee is optional, but it takes a search on the LPC website to find how to opt out of the fee. There is a form in CLASS-Web under the Student Services Tab. This form must be filled out and sent or taken to the Admissions and Records Office in building 1600. 300 students, less than 4% of the student population, are currently opting out of this fee.
Currently, the Student Activity fees collect more money than student government spends.
Alan Lewis is the photo editor of The Express. Follow him @alolewis1.