ASWC Plans Student Fee Ahead of Schedule

Daniel Kim

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Students will have less time than usual this semester to give their input on the new student fee, as ASWC Senate is moving to vote on the fee ahead of schedule.

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) is already well on its way to determining a new ASWC fee, a small sum that students pay in addition to tuition in order to support ASWC and other student organizations. Currently they plan to start discussing the fee in senate next week.

“The ASWC fee is essentially a small piece of your tuition that goes to ASWC, which is your student government. We take every student’s fee and put it together in a budget. This budget goes towards everything ranging from clubs, club sports, WEB, The Pioneer, KWCW, the interest houses, all to put on programming, all to support club operation activities, events [and] conferences,” said President Kayvon Behroozian.

The primary reason for having an earlier date to establish this fee is so that Whitman College Controller Walter Froese will have an exact number to publish in the next college catalog so that prospective students and incoming students know the exact fee that students are required to pay to ASWC.

“This year, we considered that it’s only fair that the incoming students have an idea of what they’re going to pay, especially since were supposed to be serving the students. So we decided to move the process up a little bit,” said Behroozian.

Behroozian does not anticipate that the fee-developing process will change. The senate will have meetings and discussions to figure out where the funding will go, where there might be a need for more funding or even where there is too much funding.

“I don’t believe that moving the date that the process starts on up to the beginning of the semester will have any implication on how our Senators will vote and what the discussions will be. It just simply means that the voting and discussion will take place earlier,” said Behroozian.

There is one difficulty that arises from setting the ASWC fee at an earlier date. Some student organizations feel that it is too early in the year to accurately estimate their expenses for next year, so the senate and finance committee are forced to make approximations.

“We are still working with clubs. The difficulty is that we don’t know how much they will need because we’re planning so much further in advance. At this point I don’t know if many clubs know how much they need either,” said Finance Chair Sam Sadeghi.

However, he also pointed out a possible solution for this issue.

“Last year clubs as a whole got 20% more money and so they have a good chunk of change to work with this year,” he said.

Even with this difficulty, ASWC is confident in coming up with a new fee for next year, which will give incoming students a more accurate number for their tuition.

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