Alex Obiol | Guest Columnist

Student Government is hosting a Student Fees Town Hall in the Currituck-Hatteras Ballroom on Tuesday, January 22 from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m.

The event will feature representatives from the campus entities to whom we as students pay the largest fees: Transportation, Wellness and Recreation, Student Centers Operations, Student Health, and the Education and Technology Fee.

Together these entities represent $676.27, or about 52% of the $1,282.80 in fees we pay to NC State each semester as undergraduates, or the $1,288.80 we pay as graduate students. All students are invited to come and learn how our student fees are decided, how our money is used, and participate in a dialogue on the plans for the future of these fees.

Why is this important? Every student pays these fees, which are used to fund many of the non-academic services provided to us by the university. However, only a handful of students know where the money goes and how it is used.

By attending the Student Fees Town Hall, you can learn exactly what each of the presenting entities are planning to do with fee dollars over the coming years and provide your student perspective. By contributing to the dialogue, you are helping decide how your money is spent.

Additionally, student involvement in the fee process typically starts with the Student Senate’s review of proposed increases, which is then shared with the Student Senate President, who co-chairs the university committee that decides the official fee recommendation to the Chancellor.

Despite the entire fee process from budget formulation to proposal taking approximately a year and a half complete, it is oftentimes sheltered from the broader student audience, and student input is limited to the final few months once input is difficult to account for.

This town hall is the first opportunity for all students to participate in the fee review process, and at one of its earliest stages. Students should take advantage of the unique opportunity to engage in long-term fee planning discussions by participating in the Student Fees Town Hall.

Alex Obiol is a third-year studying textile engineering and director for the Department of University Affairs for Student Government.