“The administration doesn’t even know where it’s going at this point, because it’s just this sum of money. They can’t even start to think about where to put the money because it hasn’t been approved. If it’s approved, then they can start to think about where to put the money.”
SGA President Ida Haefner said this in relation to the $200,000 that Missouri Western would save annually under her proposed Student Success Act proposal that takes over some of the costs associated with Student and Academic Affairs departments.
Under the SSA proposal, the university’s savings would come from the student fee covering the student labor and operating costs associated with nine student-related departments to save the university $195,560.
An additional $4,440 of SSA fee money would go directly to the university to save it an even $200,000.
Vice President of Financial Planning Dr. Cale Fessler, who reviewed the budget after it was drafted, said that the $200,000 that gets freed up would go back into the university’s general operating budget.
“These funds are provided through the university’s general operating budget, so those funds would go back to the general operating budget for the university,” Fessler said.
Aside from going to the university’s operational budget, the savings have not been marked for any certain projects or expenses.
“We haven’t come up with any new $200,000 a year projects to take these funds at this point of time,” Fessler said. “That’s as much a function of our budget and revenue and expense side of things right now as anything else. Certainly the operating budget savings are very helpful to us, no question, but we don’t have any specific project lined out that those would go to or any ongoing expenditure that we would be taking on.”
Fessler cited health insurance increase, utilities and raises for faculty and staff as possible outlets for the saved money, but because of the nature of the operational budget, could not provide any more specifics about where exactly the saved money was going.
However this money is spent, the administration is confident that it will benefit students.
“Really all the dollars that the university spends, whether it be operational or auxiliary or in the residence halls or things like that, I believe are in support of students,” Fessler said. “Sometimes, when you look at the general operating budget, it may not be as direct of an impact, or easily explained as a direct impact… There are so many ways that we allocate those funds that overall, because again we are here to serve the students and keeping the educational institution operational and being able to provide an education. I think really it provides us the opportunity to operate and it’s helpful to us.”
Vice President Shana Meyer who oversees SGA where the legislation was proposed expressed similar sentiments.
“Everything the university does benefits the students,” Meyer said.
Haefner said that her proposal returns to the original intention of the student-imposed fee and in the end benefits the students as well.
“The way that I view it when we go through it is this fee was put into place to save the student services. We’re saving the student services. It’s doing what it meant to be,” Haefner said. “It wasn’t meant to be this pot of money that went to certain places on campus, like to rebuild things. It was meant to help save the leadership and development services and all that sort of thing. Now, it going there, instead of to fix a building or renovate a building, which also needs to be done, but should you’re student fees be going toward that? This is more of a thing that encompasses all students because it’s something that all students can use.”