Here are where all ASOSU COVID-19 updates and content is located.
To start, we hope that you are doing well as we all begin to navigate this very different spring term. We are writing to inform you of an 11.33% reduction for a new student incidental fee of $353.30 for spring term 2020 for OSU Corvallis students. The incidental fee funds the Associated Students of OSU, Family Resource Center, Human Services Resource Center, Student Experiences and Engagement, Performing Arts, Intercollegiate Athletics, Recreational Sports, and the Memorial Union.
To get here, we asked each unit’s budget manager to work with student leaders in their unit to come up with a reduction to their incidental fee following the principle of maintaining set operational costs, other fixed costs and student payroll in a proposed reduced budget. All reductions were created completely by the units and their student leaders themselves. We did this to ensure that units will be able to plan for and have a successful fall term; for fee-funded student employees to be able to retain their jobs; and to lessen the financial cost of this term for Corvallis students by only making cuts that do not disparage these units, which will still be offering many services at this time. We have created a centralized Canvas page for students to be able to access the services being provided by the various units receiving incidental fee funding.
After the reductions were finalized by each unit after being internally vetted twice, the Student Fee Committee approved the budget reduction and the ASOSU Congress unanimously approved a reduction resolution. The ASOSU President signed the resolution and it was approved by President Ray and then presented before the Board of Trustees for their final approval. We greatly appreciate the speed at which the student fee-funded units and students involved in this process worked to efficiently and effectively to create a new budget for this term to relieve some financial struggles during this difficult time.
For a more thorough update on the student fee, please visit: https://asosu.oregonstate.edu/covid-19
If you have any questions regarding this change and its impact to your student account, you can contact “Student Accounts” through the email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website at https://fa.oregonstate.edu/business-affairs/students. We welcome your questions during this time, and we are excited to share this fee reduction with you.
Safi Ahmad, Student Fee Committee Chair
Rachel Josephson, ASOSU President
Kylie Boenisch, ASOSU Vice-President
The Student Fee Committee has voted 10 Yes, 0 No, 2 Not Present, on the reduction of incidental fees by 11.33% for Spring Term 2020. The SFC approves this recommendation, and the resolution will move on to these next steps:
1. ASOSU Senate will vote on Tuesday (3/31) at 6 PM. Meeting information can be found here: https://asosu.oregonstate.edu/branches/senate
2. ASOSU House will vote on Wednesday (4/1) at 6 PM. Meeting information can be found here: https://asosu.oregonstate.edu/branches/house
The public comment form is still open.
We’re writing to share an update regarding Student Incidental Fees.
First, the Student Fee Committee (SFC) is currently evaluating a discounted Incidental Fee for Spring 2020. Public comment for this step will be made available on this website on Monday (3/30) from 12 PM to 5 PM. Units funded by the incidental fee are: Associated Students of OSU, Family Resource Center, Human Services Resource Center, Intercollegiate Athletics, Memorial Union, Performing Arts, Recreational Sports, and Student Experiences and Engagement.
The below information is to help in providing context to these tough decisions all student leaders are tasked to take. Here is a look at the process that brought us here:
On March 18th, Student Fee Committee Chair Safi Ahmad, ASOSU President Rachel Josephson, and ASOSU Vice President Kylie Boenisch, approached the Vice Provost of Student Affairs on reducing the student fee given that services would be different and potentially reduced during remote delivery. From the beginning, there has been an interest in reducing the costs of education next term considering the unprecedented time that we are in with COVID-19. Because ASOSU has direct purview over the fee level for incidental fees, we started with exploring cuts that could be made in that area because we could do them the quickest and they were within our direct purview. Additionally, we have looked into other areas, such as the building fee and health fee, to see if those areas that are not under our purview could incur a reduction as well. It quickly became apparent that the only reductions that we could make were within the incidental fee. Please see below updates for further context on other fee areas we explored for reduction.
On March 19th we reached out to each of the units with the difficult question of providing a reduced fee for Spring 2020 by March 23rd. Units evaluated reduction decisions alongside the students on their Student Advisory Boards, and with their Student Advisory Board Liaison from the SFC. ASOSU wanted to give full autonomy to the units in creating a reduction because they know their units best and there are many highly knowledgeable students who would be involved in the process. Through March 23rd and March 27th, the final recommendations were further validated and the process by which we set out to approve these reductions was created from scratch.
The principles we outlined for each incidental fee funded unit to follow during this time are as follows:
Maintaining student employment where possible. Units were asked to not make cuts to student payroll, if at all possible, to leave space to get creative with paying students throughout next term, even if the nature of their position makes it difficult to work during social distancing. This is currently being worked on by all stakeholders, but this could look like giving students different assignments to supplement the work at other units, or working on process improvement remotely. Additionally, we found that students employees of universities are unfortunately typically ineligible for unemployment benefits; to have a higher take-home pay, they are removed from that classification as to not pay higher taxes into unemployment benefits. We understand that this is codified at the federal level. To protect these students now, we encouraged units to reduce payroll as a form of reduction. We are continuing to explore student employment further to see what more we can learn to protect student pay during this time.
Maintaining services that protect and uphold OSU’s community is imperative for the success of current and future students. Units were asked to make sure their reduction recommendations allow them to scale back up to full operation in Fall 2020. There are necessary costs for every unit that cannot be cut back without making the unit fully unoperational, so naturally units were asked to not make those cuts.
In order to create a process to approve the reduction in student fees, we looked to our student fee setting process in our ASOSU governing documents and aligned our approach.
After each unit submitted their own reduced fee following the above principles, it was determined that the percent reduction to the student incidental fee will be -10.32%, for a final fee amount of $357.32, which is $41.12 less than the recommended fee of $398.44 from last year’s student incidental fee setting process. This decrease amounts to roughly $ (845,000) of reduction. These values are tentative, and are subject to change. All units have submitted their fee reductions, besides Intercollegiate Athletics, which will come in by Monday at noon.
The recommendations will be voted on by the Student Fee Committee electronically by the end of the day Monday. Then, an ASOSU Resolution with the SFC-approved fee reduction will be sent for approval by the ASOSU Senate on Tuesday at 6pm (Zoom link here) and the ASOSU House of Representatives on Wednesday at 7pm (Zoom link here). These meetings are public and will have time for students at-large to provide their feedback; the form will be available online Monday at noon to provide feedback. Finally, the ASOSU President will sign it and it will go to President Ray. The role of the Board of Trustees in this process is still being investigated - they will be informed of this change but their approval may not be required.
All of the student fee funded units have been extremely responsive and produced reduced budgets and budget evaluations within incredibly short timelines. The services that the student fee funded units provide to students are absolutely foundational to a positive student experience and wellness, and we are deeply appreciative that they were able to provide reductions for their budgets that would allow them to still provide important services while reducing the cost students face next term.
This concludes our update on the incidental fee for Spring Term 2020. Check back at noon on Monday for full incidental fee reduction information and numbers and for a link to provide your feedback.
Building Fee Update:
During this process we received a lot of questions regarding the student health fee, the building fee and the student incidental fee. Our first update was intended to provide clarity on all mandatory fees that students pay (health fee, building fee, and incidental fee), even though the building fee and the student health fee are not under ASOSU’s student incidental fee setting process. This caused some confusion, and we apologize for that. We wanted to provide additional clarity on the building fee and student health fee, and direct you to the University Budget Committee, where these fees are housed. The building fee supports mortgage payment for projects on campus, and is not a building usage fee. The student health fee supports Student Health Services as well as Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). The UBC’s website is here.
Below is what a more in-depth description of what the Student Building Fee goes towards.
Student Building Fee - $45 FWS & $34 summer (governed by the UBC)
Pays for the bonds (loans) for buildings for student fee funded programs. These include various Cultural & Resource Centers upgrades and new builds, Champinefu Lodge where Human Services Resource Center & Family Resource Center are located, Recreational Sports projects, as well as Memorial Union projects, among others.
We apologize for the miscommunication that happened, and are learning as we navigate through this unprecedented period. As students, we share the same concerns, and will work with the student body and come out of this pandemic stronger as a unified student body.
Senate: Date, time, how to join and other information about Senate meetings available at Senate's website.
House: Date, time, how to join and other information about House meetings available at House's website.
Student Fee Committee (SFC): Date, time, how to join and other information about SFC meetings available at SFC's website.