Pierce College students have watched tuition steadily rise, and they might not be aware of one particular payment they have been paying for.
In general, students pay four mandatory fees: comprehensive, technology, recreational and a student life and activities fee. Fees have their specific and detailed purposes. While the technology and recreational fees go towards technology and recreation, the comprehensive, student life and activities fees go into a few different facets of student life.
“The comprehensive fee was instituted by students as a matter of convenience instead of having separate fees for a variety of services,” Joann Wiszmann, vice president of administrative services, said.
The student life and activities budget allocates money to many programs like athletics, student programs, the tutoring and writing center, child care, student newspaper, health and wellness programs and clubs. They are all very active components of campus life.
Club participation and formation of new clubs is at its highest ever as of fall 2011. Initially when a club is started they are given $400 to spend after the approval of the Student Council. Clubs then are able to access funds through a request that must be approved by Mari Kruger, director of student support services and student life. For anything beyond $400, clubs are required to fill out supplemental funding request for a range of topics such as food service, travel request or purchasing goods.
“Once they (students)v have a vision, we let them do it, we give them the opportunities and do not want to tell them what to do,” Bryce Anderson, vice president for government concerns said.
Clubs are funded by students, and with lower student enrollment, clubs can expect to be at risk just as any other campus program for budget cuts.
Some clubs use their money and group power to host events on campus. The Rainer Nursing Club has organized blood drives, the Environmental Science Club has held campus clean up days, and the new Ink and Ingenuity Club plans to host writing events and a Valentine’s Day poetry booth. Some of the more competitive clubs like Ping Pong, Ultimate Frisbee and the Scratch Masters offer tournaments. These tournaments are open to all students.
Clubs are not required to put on events, though events can help increase club membership and to meet club goals.
“A negative aspect of clubs is that the leadership of the previous year moves on and nobody is left to pick the club up again,” Anderson said.
However, many clubs such as Scratch Masters, Ping Pong and Rainer Nursing Club have had steady rates of participation and are among the largest at Pierce Puyallup.
To start a club, students must complete the club charter form, have at least eight initial student members, have a staff or faculty advisor and create a Club Constitution. Once the club is approved, they are required to have meetings, publish results for the year’s activity and attend student council meetings once per quarter to give an update on activities and budget.
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