Repeal the mandatory bus pass fee at Spokane Community College

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In 2016 Community Colleges of Spokane lost the grant they were using to fund "free" student bus passes. In Spring quarter 2016, the Student government passed a mandatory $22/quarter fee for every single student for the purpose of continued funding for bus riders.

When asked how the student government involved the greater student body in their decision I was told "STA...would have appeared on the publicly-posted agenda for their meetings" and "students from each of the five academic divisions of the college were also expected to reach of to the students in their classes and to student clubs in those areas." (Connan Campbell - Associate Dean of Student Development)

If you are an SCC student you can look on your CTC link and see under your detailed account charges a "Bus Pass Fee" for $22. Okay. So maybe the school didn't do a spectacular job letting people now about the fee, but $22 a year isn't bad, right? Except that it is $22 a quarter. Whether you ride the bus or not. Whether you take online courses or not. Whether you drive your car and already paid $24 this quarter for the parking pass or not. That's right. Bus riders get a free ride. Drivers have to pay for themselves AND the bus riders.

Not bothered yet? Let's talk revenue. After you take away all the students with fee waivers, you have about 21,500 credit seeking students. Multiply that by $22 and you have $473,000. And for a full year...$1.4 Million. According to Lisa Hjaltalin, Spokane Community College's CFO, the money collected goes into a fund and there is only one way out of the fund. The ONLY way out is as payment for an invoice submitted by STA. STA submits these invoices quarterly and they are charging per ride. Wait. Huh? I won't even get into that one!

We appeal to President Carstens to repeal this fee that was enacted WITHOUT the knowledge or consent of the greater student body. We would ask President Carstens to understand how unjustified it is to offer free transportation to one group of students and then make the other students pay for it, along with their own transportation. Please join me in letting President Carstens know that you want a voice in your education!

When pressed as to why, if it is student imposed, why can't the student also 'opt out' of the fee, the CFO replied that "like many social programs" it would not work if only a few people participated. In pretty much a textbook definition of socialism, she explained that the fee had to be assessed across the board or it would not be enough to be covered "by the school" and subsequently "free to the students that needed it".

The enactment of this fee without proper student representation was wrong. We would like this fee repealed immediately. Furthermore, we would like ALL FUNDS remaining in the account created for the purposed of holding these fees (after the latest invoice from Spokane Transit has been received and paid) to be evenly disbursed among the student body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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