Data shows surplus of student fee funds

According to recent data, the California Community College system has reported a surplus in student representation fee funds.

The California Community Colleges Summary of Financial Transactions by Fund for the 2013-2014 fiscal year reports a revenue of $1,502,239, and $1,262,607 in expenditures for the student representation fee account. The final balance of the account for the year is reported at $4,117,149.

According to California Education Code Section 76060.5, which pertains to the implementation of a student representation fee, “the money collected pursuant to this section shall be expended to provide support for governmental affairs representatives of local or statewide student body organizations who may be stating their positions and viewpoints before city, county, and district governments, and before offices and agencies of state government.”

City College of San Francisco states on their website that, “since being chaptered, the fee has been sparsely implemented in the 112 campuses that make up our system. Efforts are continually made by the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) and have been by its predecessor the California Student Association of Community Colleges (CalSACC) to aid in the implementation of this fee on campuses system wide for many years since its adoption.”

Skyline College currently charges a $1 student representation fee, with the possibility of opting out by signing a form available through the center for student life. According to the form, “a student has the right to refuse to pay the student representation fee for religious, political, moral or financial reasons,” despite the $1 being listed as a required fee on Skyline’s website.

The $1 student representation fee was implemented in 1988 and drafted by Skyline alumnus Scott Beach, who expressed concerns about the surplus of funds in a letter to The Skyline View in December of 2014.

“That sum represents political representation services that students have paid for but have not received,” Beach said in a letter to the editor, regarding the surplus of funds.