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Miscellaneous Fees and Fee Policies

Policy on Voluntary Student Fees - 4C4

  1. Intent of the Policy. This policy establishes the guidelines and procedures which shall govern the establishment, operation, evaluation, and termination of voluntary student fees at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. As used in this policy the term "students" means and includes those students who are regularly enrolled in the University and who pay mandatory student fees, including students whose mandatory fees are waived by the University or are paid on their behalf by another entity. The term "students" does not mean or include students enrolled in extension programs, or off-campus programs.

  2. Nature of Voluntary Student Fees. Voluntary student fees are fees which students freely elect to pay in order to support groups, organizations, programs, or services at SIUE, and which are approved by the University's Board of Trustees. Voluntary student fees are not University fees. Monies generated by voluntary student fees shall be released to the entity responsible for the fees and that entity shall be free to utilize the funds as they determine appropriate. However, the University requires the monies to be utilized for the legitimate expenses of the function(s) for which the fee was approved and the University shall require an annual accounting of the use of funds collected through a voluntary student fee. The University shall bear no responsibility or liability for the uses of funds so collected and released to an approved entity, shall not defend or assist in the defense of any action arising out of the use of voluntary student fee monies by an approved entity, and shall require the individuals responsible for an approved entity to execute agreements recognizing these understandings and relieving the University from all liability. Programs, services, or benefits financed through voluntary student fee monies shall not be administered or implemented in such a way as to violate the University's policies regarding non-discrimination.

  3. Guidelines for the Establishment of Voluntary Student Fees.

    1. Establishment of a voluntary student fee shall be considered for any group, organization, program, or service which has as a primary objective to the provision to SIUE students of benefits which complement and are consistent with the educational, cultural, or service goals of the University, and which enjoys broadly-based student support and provides benefits to a broad segment of the students of the University, and which does not receive funding from the University.

    2. Proposals for the establishment of voluntary student fees, or for increases or decreases in established voluntary student fees, shall be submitted to the Student Senate for review and recommendation. The Student Senate shall forward the proposal and its recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for his/her review and recommendation. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs shall forward copies of his/her recommendation on the proposal to the Student Senate at the time he/she forwards the proposal and recommendation to the Chancellor.

    3. Proposals for voluntary student fees, or for increases or decreases in such fees, shall contain, at minimum, the following information.

      1. A description of the applying group, organization, or entity and a copy of the working or operating papers which govern the applicant.

      2. A description of the benefits, programs, and/or services which would accrue to students of the University by the establishment of the fee, or by the increase or decrease proposed in an established fee.

      3. A statement of the projected number of students, in relation to the total student population of the University, who would benefit by the establishment of the programs or services which would be funded by the fee.

      4. Some acceptable form of evidence or documentation which indicates the level of student support for the establishment of the proposed fee and the programs, services, or benefits to be funded by the fee.

        1. A budget projection indicating the revenues needed to be generated by the fee in order to support the proposed function(s).

        2. A budget showing the intended allocations, by line item, of revenues from the fee.

        3. A projection of the fee level needed to generate the funds necessary to sustain the function(s), and the basis of the fee level projection, (i.e., indicating the number of students which the applicant believes will support the function by payment of the fee).

      5. A description of the methods which the applicant will utilize to evaluate the proposed program, service, or benefit once in operation, and the degree of student support for the program, service, or benefit.

        The Student Senate or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs may require additional information from an applicant.

    4. The proposed amount of any voluntary student fee shall be determined through discussions between the applicant for the fee, the Student Senate, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The amount of the proposed fee and the method and information used to arrive at that amount shall be included in the recommendation forwarded to the Chancellor.

    5. If a program, service, or benefit to be funded by a voluntary fee, or the entity responsible for the fee, requires the use of University facilities or resources if such resources or facilities are available, the entity and its programs or services shall be treated as a non-University group and shall be subject to reasonable rents, charges, and assessments for the use of University facilities and resources in accordance with established rates and schedules for such facilities and resources. Arrangements for necessary office space or similar space to be assigned to a voluntary fee entity, and the applicable rent and maintenance charges shall be incorporated into the proposal and recommendation for the fee which the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs forwards to the Chancellor.

    6. Final authority for the establishment of voluntary student fees rests with the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees, or the Board's designee.

  4. Operation of Voluntary Student Fees.

    1. Voluntary student fees shall operate through a ' positive check off ' system. Approved fees will be incorporated into the registration process in a manner which will ensure that the voluntary fees can be accounted for as distinct from University fees. A student shall be assessed a voluntary student fee only if she/he makes a positive indication that she/he desires to pay the fee. Voluntary student fees shall not be refundable once paid. Any information to be distributed to students at the time of registration concerning the programs, services, or functions which a voluntary student fee supports shall be the responsibility of the entity that the fee supports. The University shall provide a verification system indicating whether a student paid a particular voluntary fee.

    2. When a voluntary student fee has been approved by the Board of Trustees, information concerning the amount of the fee to be assessed and the entity for whom the fee was approved will be forwarded to the Registrar and the Bursar for inclusion in the assessment and collection systems. Depending upon the time during the academic term when the fee is approved, it may not be possible to assess and collect the fee at the immediately succeeding term registration.

    3. Once approved and established, voluntary student fees shall be collected through the Bursar's Office under the same time schedules as University fees and in a manner which will ensure that voluntary fees can be accounted for as distinct from University fees. Voluntary student fees may be deferred in the event that a student is granted a deferment of his/her tuition and fees. The University shall bear no responsibility and shall take no action to collect voluntary student fees which for any reason are considered uncollectible.

    4. The release of monies from voluntary student fees shall only be made to a duly authorized officer of, or individual responsible for the applicable entity and only upon showing of written authority there for and execution of a receipt for the funds released which shall show the gross receipts collected, the dollar amount retained by the University for services rendered, and the net amount released to the entity. A copy of each release receipt shall be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

    5. All recipients of voluntary fees shall be required to reimburse the University for the costs of fee assessment and collection.

  5. Evaluation and Termination of Voluntary Student Fees.

    1. Evaluation. The following shall be used to evaluate voluntary student fees and the uses of fee receipts.

      1. The percentage of students paying a voluntary student fee each term shall be used as an evaluative indicator of the degree of student support for the fee and for the programs and/or services which the fee supports.

      2. Each entity responsible for a voluntary student fee shall, by July 1 of each year, file with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Student Senate:

        1. An annual report on the programs, services, or functions funded by the fee during the preceding year including copies of evaluations conducted by the entity of the programs, services, or functions; and

        2. A detailed financial statement showing, by line item, the uses of voluntary fee monies in relation to the beginning-of-the-year budget for the programs, services, or functions supported by the fee.

    2. Termination of Voluntary Student Fees.

      Voluntary student fees may be terminated for reasons such as: failure to provide the programs, services, or benefits to students which were described in the proposal to establish the fee; failure to use funds generated by the fee for the purposes for which the fee was established; failure to maintain broad-based student support for the entity as evidenced by the number of students opting to pay the fee; or acts on the part of the entity responsible for the fee which violate applicable laws and regulations or the University's policies, or which jeopardize the University's reputation, programs, property, employees, or students. An action to terminate a voluntary fee may be initiated by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who shall forward the matter to the Student Senate. The Student Senate shall make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who shall, after consultation with the entity responsible for the fee, forward a recommendation to the Chancellor. If the Chancellor determines termination of the fee is appropriate, a proposal will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for its action. The decision that a voluntary student fee shall be terminated shall be communicated by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to the entity supported by the fee as soon as practical.

Approved by Chancellor effective 4/10/91
This policy was issued on November 1, 2002, replacing the February 1, 1996 version
Document Reference: 4C4
Origin: OP 4/10/91