Jacob Gideon

Committee for Fee Allocations chair Jacob Gideon speaks during a meeting in the Nebraska Union on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Editor’s note: Editor-in-chief Karissa Schmidt did not contribute to the writing or editing of this story.

The Committee for Fee Allocations unanimously approved each of the University Program and Facilities Fee’s recommendations to be sent to the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska as appropriations bills introduced at the next two ASUN meetings. 

On Thursday, UPFF recommendations for fiscal year 2021 were unanimously approved in a brief meeting in the ASUN office. The recommendations will be sent as appropriations bills to ASUN for a final vote before students voice their support or opposition during ASUN elections on March 10-11. 

Each recommendation matched the requested amount for fiscal year 2021 from fee users.

ASUN will discuss UPFF Fund A bills, including The Daily Nebraskan, the Lied Center for Performing Arts and ASUN, on Feb. 19, while UPFF Fund B bills, including Campus Recreation, will be discussed on Feb. 26. 

Only The Daily Nebraskan, the Lied Center and Campus Recreation requested increases to their UPFF allocated funds while ASUN requested an overall decrease.

The Daily Nebraskan requested an $8,500 increase for a total of $159,602. The increase is for a software called Hearken, a tool used for the Curious Cornhusker initiative that allows The Daily Nebraskan to better interact with its audience, according to its recommendation.

The Lied Center requested a $25,000 increase in its UPFF allocations for a total of $210,000. The increase is in direct correlation with student demand for tickets, and supports Arts for All, a free ticket program for students on a first-come, first-serve basis as well as a half-price ticket program, according to its recommendation. 

Campus Recreation asked for a $45,070 increase in its UPFF allocations for a total of $8,340,771. This is due to an increase in staff salaries and benefits, facilities maintenance and an increased sports club budget as well as a 4.84% increase in building cost index, according to its recommendation. 

ASUN asked for a $68,528 decrease in its UPFF allocations to a total of $518,219. The decrease is due to a reorganization of full-time staff including less full-time staff, funds pulled from reserves and a decrease in internal operation costs, according to its recommendation.

The University Health Center UPFF allocation was $5,739,581 and UHC Counseling and Psychological Services UPFF allocation was $1,179,799. CFA voted to allocate  $4,933,045 to the Nebraska Unions, $1,310,987 to Transit Services, $284,095 to the University Program Council and $6,400 to The DailyER Nebraskan. None of these fee users requested a change in UPFF allocations for the next fiscal year.

The Collegiate Readership program UPFF allocation was $185,000. It did not request a change for the next fiscal year. CFA chair Jacob Gideon said ASUN is holding discussions about altering the program from a print format to completely digital in the future, but the change is unlikely to affect the UPFF allocation. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s annual Debt on Facilities fee of $111.50 per student per semester, which is mandated by the university's bond agreements, was also not subject to change.

Gideon said CFA used feedback from ASUN senators, fee users and past CFA members to better distribute information to UPFF fee users and increase collaboration with them. For next year, Gideon said increasing productivity further will be an important theme.

“I think it’s been a good year of learning to further refine the process and with more time next year … we’ll have even more time to perfect the process,” he said. “Some of the things that worked well this year, that we really liked, we’ll be able to take those even further.”

news@dailynebraskan.com

Editor's Note: This article was modified at 2:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, to clarify that CFA does not approve the Debt on Facilities fee.