What does the University Center (UC) provide for HSU students?
The UC is an auxiliary organization at HSU that provides a wide variety of services and programs for the campus, including the University Center building itself, which houses Associated Students (AS), Clubs & Activities, CenterArts, the HSU Bookstore, and the Depot. Other UC facilities include the Student Recreation Center, the Recreation & Wellness Center, Kate Buchanan Room, Nelson Hall East, and the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center. Many individual student programs rely on these facilities, including Sport Clubs and Intramurals, OhSNAP! student food program, Health Center Peer Educators, Athletics, academic classes, and Clubs & Activities.
UC programs such as Center Activities, CenterArts, and Operations provide services for students and many campus departments. Center Activities oversees extensive recreation offerings and a variety of facilities that offer workout and weight training equipment, the Field House, West Gym, dance studios, and meeting rooms. CenterArts provides the expertise to host concerts and speakers, event management and ticketing services for AS Presents and academic programs, as well as its own event series. Scheduling and support for events and meetings that take place in the UC building, Kate Buchanan Room, Nelson Hall East, and the UC Quad are also provided by the UC. This support includes student events of all types, Clubs & Activities, AS, academic classes, departmental programs, and more.
Why is the fee adjustment being proposed?
While fees and other revenues are relatively flat or declining, expenses are increasing significantly. The increase in the California minimum wage alone results in a significant increase in costs for the UC. The minimum wage is scheduled to rise from its present $11 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022. With more than 100 student employees and $700,000 in direct student wages, these increases are becoming impossible to meet. Salaried employee wages, benefit costs, and direct program costs have also outpaced the incoming revenue.
The UC is financially responsible for the maintenance and operations of the University Center building itself. A recent assessment by an outside consultant identified deferred maintenance for the building structure, critical systems, and equipment replacement at well over $9 million. Changes such as the recently proposed remodel/repurposing of the AS and Clubs offices are becoming impossible to fund in light of the deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed.
Increased funding is necessary to keep the facilities and equipment in the Student Recreation Center and Recreation & Wellness Center safe, usable, and up-to-date.
What can students expect from the fee increase?
- Sustainable student programs such as CenterArts and Center Activities
- Sustainable employment of more than 100 students at any given time.
- Continued direct UC support for student programs like AS, Clubs & Activities, Athletics, Sport Clubs, Intramurals, and Health Center programming.
- Continued low-cost student admission to concerts, speakers, and events
- Ability to address deferred maintenance building projects
- Ability to address facility and equipment upkeep in the Student Recreation Center and Recreation & Wellness Center
- Ability to maintain adequate reserves for future projects that would benefit student organizations and activities
What will happen if the fee adjustment is not implemented?
If the fee adjustment is not approved, a variety of cost-cutting measures will have to be considered:
- Student program offerings and operational hours could be reduced, which would result in fewer opportunities for students and fewer student jobs on campus.
- Fees could be implemented for services provided by the UC for campus programs and departments, including student events of all types, Clubs & Activities, AS, academic classes, and more.
- Important building maintenance projects could be delayed, including the UC Quad clock tower’s elevator, which provides critical ADA access to the University Center, Nelson Hall East, and Founders Hall.
- Equipment maintenance and upgrades could be delayed or unachievable, such as replacing exercise equipment in the Student Recreation Center, much of which is original from when the facility was built 13 years ago.
- Future development of student activity space would likely not be funded.
How much is the current UC fee?
Two fees support the UC Student Center. The Student Union Fee and Student Recreation Center Fee are collected together, and total $185 per year for all students. The fees are used to pay the two bonds that are owed on the facilities. The remainder of the fees is used to support UC programs and operations.
What is the proposed fee change?
If approved, the UC Fee will increase by $130 over a three year period to a total of $315 in 2021. The adjustment will be incremental, increasing by $35 per semester in Fall 2018-19, an additional $15 per semester in 2019-20, and an additional $15 per semester in 2020-21. Beginning in 2021, the fee will be adjusted annually according to the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI). Over the past 10 years, the HEPI has averaged 2.35 percent.
When was the last time this fee was adjusted?
The last time the Student Union part of this fee had an adjustment was in 1987—30 years ago. The fee that supports the Student Recreation Center has not changed since first implemented in 2005.
How does the UC fee compare to other CSU campuses?
Information regarding tuition and fee rates for all campuses in the CSU system is shown in this pdf. The UC is presently the third lowest in the 23 campus system and well below the system average of $446 per year.
How were these proposed fee adjustments calculated?
The proposed fee adjustments were calculated after a detailed analysis by the UC Finance Committee and UC Board of Directors. Both of these groups have significant student representation. Considerable effort was taken to propose the lowest possible fee adjustment while obtaining the desired objective to maintain and expand UC services. Gradually implementing the fee over three years would lessen the financial impact and make it more equitable for all students, as students who pay more will get more services.
What is a Category II fee and what is the process to get it approved?
Campus Union Fees are considered Category II by the CSU Board of Trustees. Category II fees are campus-based mandatory fees that must be paid to enroll in or attend the University. This fee will go to a student referendum (vote) during the AS Elections from April 17–19.
Which fees are covered by financial aid?
All educational expenses in the cost of attendance, including the Campus Union Fees fees, can be paid by financial aid awards. The HSU Financial Aid Office determines eligibility for aid.
How is the UC funded?
The UC is funded by student fees for base revenues and user fees for various programs and services. The UC does not receive any direct state support or tuition money.