Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Students will see an eight-dollar increase in the fourth line item on their College bill next year if the Board of Managers accepts the Student Budget Committee’s (SBC) recommendation on an increase in the Student Activities Fee. This charge, assessed to all students along with tuition and room and board, helps defray activity costs to students on campus. This year, SBC has recommended a 2.5% increase in the fee, the recognized benchmark for inflation. This translates to the fee moving from $312 to $320.
According to the Student Council (SC) Constitution Article III, SBC is charged to “allocate and administer the Student Activities Account (SAA) in accordance with [the] Constitution, the SAA rules, the needs of campus organizations, and a policy of fiscal prudence.” Each year SBC studies the usage of the SAA and recommends to SC the next year’s activities fee. Primary options include keeping the fee the same, increasing it by inflation, or increasing it by inflation plus 1.5%, which SBC Budget Manager Sonya Hoo ’05 explained to be the College benchmark for financial increases in comments at the November 30 Student Council meeting.
This year, SBC recommended the moderate option, keeping up with inflation. Hoo explained to Student Council that this decision was made “because we (SBC) did have sort of a high rollover from last year and we are in pretty good shape financially.” SC unanimously approved the recommendation, without much ado, meaning that the Board of Managers will have the final say, according to Hoo, who commented to SC that “the Board of Managers is going to take this number and do what they want to do with it.”