It’s telling that some of the most worthy student fee receivers are among the biggest abusers.
Take, for instance, Student Information Technologies. Founded in 1996, SIT offers Web space to UW students and student organizations. They claim to host about 4,200 students’ and 300 student organizations’ websites, and the sites they offer combine to receive over 100,000 hits a day. Their service is concrete, tangible and hardly objectionable.
What is objectionable is their recently approved 2001-03 budgets, the seg fee abuse of the week.
Last year, SIT paid its staff a total of $5,465 for 10.5 hours per week at $10/hour. The staff, which works to maintain the web servers and field users’ questions, was hardly overworked as they only received about three phone calls a day from students needing help.
Nevertheless, SSFC tripled the budget for salaries this year, with $16,523 now going for staff salaries.
Why the large increase? According to the groups’ budget request, some of the groups’ staff last year “ended up not being students, so we were unable to pay them.” But even though SIT was supposedly understaffed, students had access to Web space and could receive tech support. More importantly, SIT saved students over $10,000.
SSFC’s willingness to ignore this reality is a disturbing development. The massive increases asked for by some student groups mean SSFC must either prioritize or significantly raise student tuition.
Giving three times what has been proven adequate for SIT student salaries indicates SSFC is on the road towards the latter.