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Counseling & Testing, Career Center receive most SSF funding for 2019-2020 year

Counseling & Testing, Career Center receive most SSF funding for 2019-2020 year

Counseling & Testing, Career Center receive most SSF funding for 2019-2020 year
November 25
10:50 2019

Counseling and Testing got the most funding this year, receiving a total of $1,611,704.78 from the Student Service Fee Advisory Committee. The Career Center got the second most funding, totaling $1,484,056.44. There were a total of four clubs and services told to find alternative funding within the next three years: Debate & Forensics, KNTU, Speech & Hearing and the Collegiate Recovery Program.

When paying tuition, each student pays what is called a student service fee. This fee is used to pay for clubs and services on campus that serve students and each year a committee votes on how to allocate the funds. The committee judges based off four main priorities:

  1. Retention/Engagement
  2. Diversity/Inclusion
  3. Mean Green Morale
  4. Wellness

“Overall, the SSFAC felt strongly that they wanted to fund activities that directly benefit and provide opportunities for students to be successful,” the Student Service Fee Advisory Committee Executive Summary read.

The SSFAC has also encouraged organizations to“establish sustainable funding sources,” from program alumni in hopes to make SSF funding more accessible to other campus departments and initiatives.

Brian Lain, Director of UNT Debate, said their funding cut affected the team in two ways.

“One, we have had to cut back on travel to debate competitions,” Lain said. “This means the students on the team do not have as many opportunities for travel. Two, we have needed to allocate more time and resources into fundraising. While this has had a good effect, it is meant our time dedicated to students has been more divided than in past years.”

Lain said the future of the Debate Team is uncertain.

“We have discussed this change with the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the Provost and the President,” Lain said. “We have tried to raise the money ourselves through fundraising, but we are having difficulty raising enough money in so short of a time. We have been more successful than ever in fundraising in the last two years. However, our fundraising can only supplement funding from the university, it is not at a level to supplant that at this time.”

Lain said they are working with the assumption that the Debate Team is nearing its end date.

“As it stands, UNT Debate’s 120th celebration (in Fall of 2021) may be its last year of offering services to students,” Lain said.

Another group on campus who was told to start finding alternate funding is the Collegiate Recovery Program, which offers peer driven recovery support for students in or seeking long term recovery from a mental health condition, substance use disorder (SUD), process addiction, and/or quality of life concerns.

UNT’s program is a frontrunner in the field, by becoming the first collegiate recovery program in the nation to offer an integrated peer support model for students in recovery.

“We’ve been able to meet the needs of students thus far, but funding cuts could limit our ability to offer meetings at times convenient to students in the future,” Sonia Redwine, the Director of the Collegiate Recovery Program, said.

The CRP throws free social events for students/CRP members who chose sobriety, to help build community and provide fun.

“Reduced funding could limit our ability to support those types of events for students in the future,” Redwine said. “We conduct outreach to the campus to promote recovery and reduce stigma so students are more comfortable seeking support services, especially recovery support. Funding cuts could limit our ability provide meaningful outreach to students on campus.”

Cuts to funding have also led to staff capacity cuts for the CRP.

“A lack of SSF funding does threaten peer driven recovery support services offered to UNT students experiencing depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use disorders, as well as the community we have built at the CRP,” Redwine said.

Psychology freshman Shelby Hamiter said she does not feel like her student service fee is “being used to the best of its ability.”

“There is no way the interest in these areas are low enough to cut them,” Hamiter said in reference to the cuts to Debate & Forensics. “Also, I feel like cutting from the CRP is wrong. College is a difficult time for students.”

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Mason May

Mason May

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