By Marshall Cearfoss
The Student Service Fee Advisory Committee (SSFAC) is the committee tasked with delegating TJC funds to all official student organizations on campus. The amount delegated to each organization depends on several factors. How much the organizations request and if the organization is in good standing, meaning the organization meets all requirement such as attending meetings and filling out necessary paperwork, is all factors in how much SSFAC funds each student assembly receives.
For the Fall of 2015, the total amount allotted to all 27 organizations came to $124,996. “The first year we requested SSFAC funding,” said Mark Jones, the advisor of the TJC BSM, “they actually gave us more than we had requested. We use the money for our pancakes and bacon nights on Wednesdays, and on our Mission Arlington trip, along with other mission trips.”
The BSM was allotted $3,251 this semester. “With the money from SSFAC, I am able to charge a very nominal fee [for Mission A.]… And that pays for meals and all other expenses while we’re there.”
The Phi Theta Kappa chapter on campus, headed up by Gigi Delk, received $5,956 this Fall. “We average about 350 students on any given semester,” Gigi proudly stated, “and the biggest part of what we have to have SSFAC funding for is projects and travel. Quite frankly, we can do a pretty good project on campus for about $1,000 or so with things like t-shirts, sodas, and we get a lot of things donated, and we work hard to be very cost effective. When we travel, however, because Phi Theta Kappa is an international organization, we have five required events we have to attend to maintain good standing. Almost all of those events land in the Spring.” Gigi also mentioned that the SSFAC funding for this semester was about half as much as last Spring when they received $9,958.
“We’ve been pretty frugal this Fall – we asked for exactly what we needed – but we’re going to ask for the full $15,000 next semester, and we may even petition to get a little bit more. We’re going to go to a conference in Waco, and we have to go to Washington D.C. for the international conference.”
The Apache Band, with 225 members, received $2,526 this Fall.“Our proposal this semester” said Jeremy Strickland, the band director, “was for $22,000, and a big part of it was intended for traveling. We used to have a deal with Lindale ISD for their school buses, because those were super cheap. [That deal] got cancelled this year. In an effort to make up the ground for not being able to use those buses, we had to ask for a heightened amount this semester. Although we got much less than what we requested, the college has said that they know these are events which we have to be at, and that they will take care of it or do whatever they need to do [outside of SSFAC funds],” says Strickland.
The band depends less on SSFAC funds and more on direct funding from the school itself. For example, Strickland said that a game in Kilgore would cost them roughly $6,000. For the amount of money that the band would need for every semester, the $15,000 limit for SSFAC funds would be nearly out of the question.
The Apache Activities Council received $12,490 this Fall. Phi Ro Pi, the TJC Speech and Debate Club, received $13,851- the highest amount allotted to one organization this semester. The Apache Belles received $10,026, and the International Education Club collected $10,771.
SSFAC gathers its funds from a small portion of student tuition. The amount used from tuition varies depending on the estimated amount needed for all of the organizations and tuition. The amount allotted in the Spring is usually less because enrollment goes down in the Spring compared to the Fall.
The SSFAC committee will meet again to decide how to delegate the money next Spring. Since 2012, the total amount of SSFAC funds delegated has been much smaller in Spring semesters than in the Fall.