Maximum Special Fee Cost Decreases to $116 Per Quarter

Due to budget revisions and pressure from the ASSU senate and other members of the student body, the overall Special Fee levied on individual students has been decreased. At tonight’s Undergraduate Senate meeting Stanford Student Enterprise’s CEO Matt McLaughlin stated:

The first round of calculations put it that if the undergraduate body elects every single special fee group, the total special fee rate will be $116 per quarter.

This is down from $119 per quarter this year. Although only a $9 difference to individual students for the whole year, one must remember that the fee usually increases rather than decreases, and that some of the requests may not be passed by the student body, making the total cost even lower. McLaughlin continued:

That’s good news for those of you who put work into trying to decrease the special fee rate.

In the past few years, only a few groups have failed to receive funding. Most Special Fee groups don’t conduct much campaigning because students seem to be inclined to vote to fund them. For an undergraduate group to receive funding, they must receive 50% of the vote. That 50% must constitute 15% of the undergraduate population. But last year several groups came close to falling below the required 50% of undergraduate votes needed to receive funding. Those included (after the jump):

Stanford Chaparral – 54.2%
Leland Quarterly – 54.48% (not on ballot this year)
SCBN – Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting Network – 53.89%
The Stanford Progressive – 55.74%

These groups should be watched as ones that may not receive funding. They have historically received some of the lowest vote totals for Special Fees, spending most of the past 4 years in the 50% range. Perhaps in response to their past difficulties, Stanford Cardinal Broadcasting network looks to be trying to increase awareness of their group this year. The Stanford Chaparral petitioned to have their original fee request put on the ballot (as opposed to the budget suggested by the Undergraduate Senate). Their petition failed, gaining only 95 of the needed 820 votes. Consequently, their request on the ballot will be the one revised by the Undergraduate Senate. But their flop in petitioning shows that they don’t have a strong base of supporters, something that always helps groups raise awareness about their requests.

Other groups that could run into trouble are MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) and the Axe Committee. But the success of the football team this year will probably take the Axe Committee off of the hot seat.

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