The committee responsible for what happens to your student activity fee has made a change that makes it more transparent, and accountable for its actions. This is a good thing, but it is wasted if students do not take advantage of it.
Now that the SAFC meeting time is set to coincide with the common exam time beginning next semester, more students will be able to attend the meetings that often determine how their student activity fee money is spent.
The fee covers the cost of attending UNH athletic events, student government, riding the bus, using the various workout amenities at the Hamel Student Rec Center and even having The New Hampshire printed twice a week during the academic year.
As a staff, The New Hampshire believes that passing this proposal was a wise move on the student senate’s behalf and that all students should make their way to a meeting at some point during the semester.
Tyler Kennedy reported in his front-page article entitled “New SAFC meeting time to accommodate students” that the purpose of holding the meetings during the newly approved time is to promote student attendance, which has been down compared to years’ past.
SAFC has done the right thing. Now it’s time for students to take more notice of their student government, and attend the meetings. If you are an undergraduate student at UNH taking at least five credits, then you paid $98 as a part of the student activity fee. $98 certainly isn’t chump change for college students facing the high costs of getting an education, but the money can go a long way. When you multiply $98 by the number of heads in the student body, you realize that fellow students have been given hundreds of thousands of dollars to allocate.
Did your money bring a comedian to campus? Buy enough lanyards to cover a table top near the mailroom? Find out. But remember, SAFC is made up of students like you. Don’t be hasty to accuse anyone of waste, corruption or inefficiency without first hearing out the other side of the story. SAFC has a necessary role in the community, and the students who make up the committee often spend long hours working with documents and budgets that might make less passionate people nod off. Like anyone—or any student—they can make mistakes, and to some degree, this should be met with understanding and courtesy.
However, it is your money, and you have the right to find out where it is going. The committee members should be aware of that view, and of their own responsibility to respect it.
Student Body President Cam Cook rightly states in the article that the low student-turnout is due to the fact that the common exam time no longer coincides with the SAFC meeting time.
Prior to the start of this semester, the common exam time took place on Tuesdays from 12:40 to 2 p.m., and not during the present 2:10 to 5 p.m. Friday time slot. Although the common exam time slot moved, the SAFC meeting time remained the same, therefore making it impossible for students with class during that time to attend meetings without missing a class period.
Holding the meeting time at common exam was the right move, on SAFC’s part. We will see if the student body will meet them half way.