The price of privilege is something everyone shares, should take advantage of

Courtesy of the Kansas State Student Governing Association and the Kansas State Budget Office

Each semester, students see a fee for $405.70 show up on their bills. The privilege fee goes to fund a multitude of amenities across campus. From providing four free sessions with Counseling Services to reduced ticket prices for McCain Auditorium events, these are just a couple ways this fee enriches the lives of students across campus.

“They help serve the student body as a whole while being relatively low-cost to the student as a individual,” said Andy Thompson, assistant dean and assistant director of the office of student life.

With over $15 million being distributed, privilege fee dollars can do a lot of good for students. For many students, however, it’s unclear what all is covered by the privilege fee.

“Privilege fee dollars are incredibly important to student life and how K-State’s perceived as a campus,” said Drew Unruh, privilege fee committee chair and sophomore in open option. “We really give students the opportunity to access a lot of services. We pay for students to get counseling from counseling services if they need it. We help pay for the Collegian and getting news out. We pay for the Rec.”

Both Thompson and Unruh said they stress the importance of students utilizing their dollars, not just paying for something they never use.

“I would just like students to know that the fees they’re paying go toward services that are available to them,” Thompson said. “There are some that students really take advantage and some that students don’t even realize are covered by privilege fee. “

Those $15 million aren’t doled out lightly. Each entity is in a three-year review rotation. Once a group comes up for review, it must present its budgets, financial reports and records of use of privilege fee dollars to the privilege fee committee for review.

According to Unruh, the committee looks at how dollars are being spent and consider requests for more funding from groups. The committee also has the power to take away funding if it is decided that privilege fee dollars are being used irresponsibly, which has not been a problem in Unruh’s experience.

“I would really like students to really understand what they’re paying privilege fee dollars for so they can actually utilize them to the max,” Unruh said. “Everyone pays them, everyone should use them. If you don’t know about it, you’re not going to be able to use that certain entity’s value for what they are.”