The Privilege Fee Committee recommended a continuance of $5,675,208 to the Lafene Health Center and $843,843 to Counseling Services for the next fiscal year, and a decrease of over $100,000 to the Fine Arts allocation for the next three fiscal years.
The committee will evaluate the entities recommended for continuance next year in hopes that a more normalized environment post-COVID-19 will bring more accurate revenue and expense numbers.
Jim Parker, director of Lafene Health Center and Counseling Services, asked for a continuance for both Lafene and Counseling Services.
At Lafene, insured Kansas State students can receive an office visit at no cost as well as reduced prices in pharmaceuticals, lab work and physical therapy costs. A drive-thru pharmacy and flu vaccinations are also available at Lafene.
“The mission of Lafene Health Center at Kansas State University is to offer an accessible, high-quality, affordable out-patient healthcare service on the Manhattan campus,” Parker said.
Additionally, the center offers asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.
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JW Wells, committee member and sophomore in agricultural economics, said Lafene offers a great service to the K-State community and favored the continuance.
“Lafene exemplifies K-State privilege fee dollars very well,” Wells said. “They know where they’re good, they know exactly where they can approve and they definitely have strong leadership. … Giving them a continuance to allow them — to give them a little bit more grace to figure out exactly where they financially stand.”
Counseling Services provides students with eight free counseling sessions a semester.
Assistant director of training at Counseling Services Kodee Walls said Counseling Services needs to prepare for the mental health crisis post-pandemic.
“We are all still only surviving,” Walls said. “Think about battle during a war — we still haven’t had time to reflect on the impact of what’s happening because we’re still in the middle of it.”
Counseling Services may merge with Lafene in the next few months, becoming a department of Lafene known as Counseling and Psychological Services.
The committee also reviewed the Fine Arts contract. Fine Arts includes the College of Architecture Planning and Design, McCain Auditorium, the art department, Ebony Theater, the music department — band and orchestra, choral and opera — the English department, International Student Center, theater, dance and Student Organizations.
In two previous insufficient funds processes, the Fine Arts budget received a 63 percent reduction to their $304,100 budget.
Total allocations for the next three fiscal years vary but will decrease by at least 58 percent. Fine Arts will receive $55,397.50 for FY22, 178,397.50 for FY2023 and $175,917.50 for FY24.
The Fine Arts Reserve Accounts will need to contribute $15,000 each year to the total budgets.
Both the College of Architecture Planning and Design and student organizations will not receive funding from the Privilege Fee in the next three-year cycle.
Even though APD provides a service, it primarily benefits Architecture, Planning, and Design students, Max Harman, committee member and junior in global food systems, said.
“If you tell the average student that they pay ‘x’ amount of dollars for the College of Architecture to bring in speakers, I don’t think they would be very happy about that.”
Similarly, Ashley Grills, committee member and sophomore in business administration, said student organizations already get plenty of funding from different committees.
“They’re not going to have any less money by us taking this away,” she said. “This is no loss to them.”
All recommendations for each entity passed unanimously, and student senate will review the revised Fine Arts Contract this week.
The next Privilege Fee Committee meeting is 5:30 p.m. on Mar. 1 in Wildcat Chamber.