Student activity fee funds are being allocated by the board members of the Student Finance Committee (SFC), which is a standing committee of ASNMU responsible for distributing funds to different student organizations on campus.
“SFC allocates funding for various events and ideas around campus but we have a rather stringent process to ensure that student money is going to where it best serves the NMU community,” Treasurer of ASNMU and SFC chairperson Norah Johnson, a junior political science and environmental studies major said in an email. “We allocate funding for programs that enrich either the educational, social or cultural experience for students through a budgetary review process of our board.”
All NMU students pay the student activity fee as part of their tuition each semester. This fee fluctuates in price each year based on needs of different organizations on campus and this fall semester, each student paid $35.72, Johnson said. She added that the funds are first distributed to designated allocation groups including ASNMU, WUPX and The North Wind and the remaining funds are allocated to the SFC to distribute among other organizations.
The board currently has six student members, coming from diverse areas of campus and bringing their own strengths to the committee. Since the beginning of fall semester, three new members of SFC have been appointed, Johnson said.
Tyler Burns, senior criminal justice major, was the first newly appointed SFC member this semester. Burns said he got involved with the SFC after the positive experience he had working with them directly to create execute the Condomonium event with residence halls this past school year.
“I want to be somebody who can help an organization fulfill their dreams,” Burns said. “[My involvement] is making my last year feel complete by doing everything I can to give back to the place I love. This place is like a second home.”
Burns added how organizations should take advantage of the efforts of the SFC and send submit budgets to help create new events on campus and utilize that semester fee they’re required to pay.
“We all pay a fee and that fee can come back to you,” he said. “We won’t give you a check but the fee will come back to you in an event that you like.”
Sarah Klinger, senior neuroscience major, has been involved with SFC since fall semester of 2016. Klinger has been able to attend a wide range of events and gave her more experience communicating with different viewpoints, Klinger said in an email.
“We are a very approachable group of undergrad students,” Klinger said. “We want all campus events to be successful and if you think your organization’s event could be more successful with more funding, please reach out to us.”
Committee members’ involvement can benefit their future career endeavors by giving them experience reading and interpreting technical documents and bylaws and communicating with other organizations SFC Advisor, Haley Rhoades, assistant dean of students said. Rhoades also recognizes the professional and unbiased nature of the committee members.
“There can be 30-minute discussions and deliberations on budgets that may be less than $400,” Rhoades said. “This shows how the committee members evaluate and really care about the use of the student activity fee.”
Hailey Reinmann and Ben Bushong were the next members to be appointed to SFC. Reinmann came to SFC through her affiliation with the Fisheries and Wildlife club and Bushong is involved with campus through Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals, Johnson said. Returning SFC board members also include Holly Anderson and Maddie Wiles, Johnson said.
“My involvement in the SFC has helped me with strategic planning and getting over my fear of being the bearer of bad news,” Burns said.
Meetings are open to the public and held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the ASNMU office.