College News

Uniform segregated fees across UW System approved by Regents

The Board of Regents approved the Segregated Fee Committee's recommendations at their Thursday meeting.

Image By: Jon Yoon

After months of back and forth between campuses, system leaders, and legislators, the regents approved Thursday new rules for allocating student dollars. Now, as mandated by the Joint Finance Committee UW System schools will have uniform categories for fees.

All students pay segregated fees each year. There are two types:

  1. Allocable, which are negotiated each year and support campus organizations, the Associated Students of Madison, and the Student Activities Center
  2. Non-allocable, which cover the institution’s larger, fixed costs like University Health Services, Rec Sports and student unions.

During the biennial budget process, Gov. Scott Walker proposed an opt-out of allocable segregated fees — which amounts to $89 dollars for UW-Madison students. This left many groups on campus worried that they would not have the necessary funds to continue operating.

However, the Joint Finance Committee struck this provision from the budget before passage and instead ordered the UW System to change their policy and require uniform classification of services as allocable or non-allocable for each campus.

At UW-Madison, millions of segregated fee dollars are doled out by the Student Services Finance Committee. Non-allocable dollars are multi-year contracts that are negotiated by students, but ultimately must get chancellor approval and usually have significantly larger costs than most groups receiving allocable dollars.

UW System campuses all vary in what services fell into each category. For example, UW-La Crosse and UW-Madison fund transportation and their bus passes through allocable fees, but UW-Stevens Point’s transportation budget came from non-allocable fees.

After today, UW-Madison will have to move transportation into the non-allocable side of their budget.

The regents approved recommendations from the Segregated Fee Committee, that included a student representative from each campus.

Union operating fees, transportation, child-care, recreational and athletic buildings — but not club sports like those sponsored by Rec Sports — and more will come from non-allocable dollars on every campus.

During the process UW-La Crosse Student Body President Jacob Schimmel said, “I can see why this speaks to many about the need to make the process uniform across the system, however, it’s difficult to classify as a committee because each school has an efficient process regardless of whether it’s allocable or not,”

Now that the proposal was approved by the regents, it will go to the Joint Finance Committee for review before it can officially be added to regent policies.

UW System Student Representatives, who were consulted by the Segregated Fee Committee and had many members on the committee, declined to comment. 

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