The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is unique in the amount of funds students control, sophomore finance and accounting major Joe Zach said.
The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska, the student government at UNL, controls over $500,000 in funds. It’s up to the student-run Committee for Fees Allocations to decide where the money collected from student fees goes.
Last year, Zach served on the committee.
After being asked to run for student government, Zach chose the committee because he wanted to contribute to student life, he said.
“Once I found out you help decide how the university is using student fees, I thought it was really applicable and it would be a chance to give back,” Zach said.
Zach explained that there are two funds students contribute to: Fund A and Fund B. Fund A covers student organizations and institutional obligations. Student services are supported by Fund B.
In the fall, committee members tour facilities and view presentations from the beneficiaries of student fees. They will what their organizations do for students, what programs they offer and how they use the funds from student fees.
Zach said when allocating money, the committee considers efficiency and use. This involves asking the beneficiaries a lot of questions, he said.
“We ask them things like, ‘Why do you spend this much money on this aspect?’” he said.“‘Is there any place you can cut back?’ ‘Is there a program you offer that is really being used?’”
Zach said the committee also asks students questions, including, “‘How often do you use this service?’ ‘Have you enjoyed having this service?’ ’Did you know that you have this resource?’”
After meeting with each beneficiary, the committee will approve or deny the organization’s request. Once the budget for both funds is set, it is sent to the ASUN Senate, which reviews the budget. Finally, the Fund B budget is sent to the Board of Regents, which considers it for final approval.
Jackson Grasz, a freshman business major, was elected to the committee for the 2016-2017 school year. He said he was excited to make a big impact on campus.
“Student fees are important to students because they’re fairly expensive,” Jackson said. “I wanted to be involved in the process to make sure it goes to deserving places.”
Grasz said he wanted students to know committee members are elected representatives who serve different parts of campus. Students should feel free to look up committee members on UNL’s website and approach them if they have any questions, he said.
Things on campus you should take advantage of (because you’re paying for it!)
Counseling and Psychological Services: Feeling like you could use someone to talk to? The first three counseling sessions at CAPS are free.
Lied Center for Performing Arts: See shows for free or half-price rates with the Lied Center’s student discount.
Recreation Centers: Use a free rock-climbing session and get some free injury prevention and care treatment at the rec centers.
College Readership Program: Students can receive The New York Times, the Omaha World-Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star or USA Today for free by swiping their N-Cards at newspaper stands located around campus.
Green Fund: For those passionate about the earth or looking to make campus a greener place, the student government has funds that can help launch projects.
Student Money Management Center: UNL students can make a free appointment with the center to learn about credit and debit cards, spending and saving plans, investing and other money management topics.
UNL Career Services: Make a free appointment and meet with career advisors to perfect your resume and master your interviewing and networking skills.
Student Legal Services: In trouble with the police or maybe a landlord? Student Legal Services provides students with an attorney to offer free legal advice or representation.