The list of things that set Tyler Junior College apart from other Junior Colleges and even some four-year universities is fairly extensive. Right up at the top of that list is the newly created Student Life Fee that each student paid this year.
This fee, which appeared for the first time this semester on every student’s bill, is $2 per credit hour with a maximum fee of $26 per student.
As you can imagine, this immediately created considerable revenue. The question was this. Where does all that money go? And who decides?
“The whole purpose of the fee was to enhance the already vibrant student life,” said Student Senate President Royce Eller.
The Student Services Fee Advisory Committee (S.S.F.A.C.) was formed to distribute more than $270,000 among campus organizations.
Student organizations and departments were given an opportunity to submit a proposal to request funding from this fee.
“There is an added advantage that comes with having dollars that go towards student life programming that really foster the sense of engaging the students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Austin Lane.
The committee consists of eight elected positions and two appointed positions. The current members of the committee are: Chair Royce Eller; Treasurer Karita Collier; Secretary Taylor Jett; Board Members Brett Brumley, Billy Hays, Lesa Jones, Marithe Reyes, Scotty Sandford and Committee Advisor Dr. Austin Lane.
“This gives the students the chance to decide where they want their money to go,” said Dr. Lane.
The committee heard proposals and then had the chance to decide where the money would go.
“We deliberated and decided we wanted to keep the students’ best interest in mind. We really tried to focus on promise number two ‘A Vibrant Student Life’ first,” said Eller. “This fee will help pay for annual events such as Parents Weekend and Camp Apache.”
Other activities selected for funding include, The tailgating parties at each home football game, Welcome Week activities, Spring Fling and many other campus activites.
But it is not all fun and games with the fee.
“The student life fee is not just about funding parties,” said Dr. Lane. “This will elevate and accelerate degrees from TJC.”
The money was distributed to 14 different programs across campus.
“The scope of this money was scattered among the three promises,” said Dr. Lane.
Programs receiving money are: Student Senate/Student Activities – $124,000; Campus Safety – $6,000; Recreational Sports – $8,250; Baptist Student Ministry – $3,000; Hispanic Student Organization – $7,500; Apache Step Team – $3,800; Apache Pride Program – $6,200; Cheerleaders – $6,000; Voices of Worship – $1,500; First Year Experience – $62,400; Housing – $2,000; Black History Month – $9,000; Apache Press Club – $12,416; Phi Ro Pi – $22,170.
This money will pay for anything from travel expenses for forensic competitions to advertising material for multiple organizations to shirts to distinguish different clubs.
“National award winning organizations like Phi Ro Pi have had to tap dance their way to competitions,” said Dr. Lane. “This will give them and others like them a better chance to bring some credibility and recognition to TJC.”
Although some of the money went toward helping campus organizations stay afloat, a large portion of the money was designated to provide more events and entertainment for the students.
Students can look forward to bigger name acts appearing on the stages of TJC in the near future.
There are also new annual events in the works that will increase student life.
“We are really excited about a Leadership Retreat that is being created right now,” said Eller. “It will be geared toward campus organization officers and Presidential Scholarship recipients.”
No matter who you are, TJC is gearing up to ensure that there is something for everyone.
“We want to make sure it is the best experience possible,” said Dr. Lane.