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Harvard College Student Activity Fee Report Summary
Membership Josh McIntosh (Co-Chair); Danny Bicknell ’13 (Co-Chair); Justin Banerdt ’13; Gary Brown; David Friedrich; Danielle Goatley ‘14; Keith Grubb ’13; Nancy Laird; Jonathan Li ’14; Regina Niles; Mandi Nyambi ’15; Emelyn dela Peña; Cynthia Wu ’13; Pratyusha Yalamanchi ’13 Background The Student Organization Funding Working Group was established in February 2012 to examine the current student organization and activities funding policies and sources. The eight students and six administrators represent a broad range of student organizations, funding bodies, and administrative responsibilities. Having thoroughly investigated the current state of finances for student programming throughout the College, the working group has determined that there is insufficient funding available to student organization programming on campus such that it adversely affects the undergraduate experience. Current Funding Constraints Over the course of the semester, the working group found that the current inadequacies in the College funding establishment fall primarily into three categories: (1) the UC lacks sufficient funds to support the growing need for student organization programming, arts, and club sports; (2) funding bodies across the College lack an effective system for coordinating grant awards; and (3) the CEB lacks a sustainable source of funding as of academic year 2014-2015 Funding Priorities Increased funding would be provided to the CEB for college-wide programming such as YardFest; student organization funding including PBHA and DAPA; House Committees; club sports; new class wide programming social committees for sophomores and juniors; and other student funding needs. Recommendation: Increase the Student Activity Fee (SAF), which should be reevaluated every four years The average equivalent Student Activity Fees among other Ivy League institutions and Stanford University is $190.50. Currently, Harvard College has the lowest Student Activity Fee of $75. Since the last time that the SAF was increased in 2006 to $75, the SAF has consistently declined as a percentage of tuition, given a minimum yearly tuition increase of 3.5%. Setting the SAF to be evaluated every four years will preclude future Councils from facing the current financial constraints as a result of increasing costs. We outlined twenty-four different scenarios for the term bill increase with projections over the next five years to accommodate for the increasing funding requirements on campus. Dean Hammonds has accepted the report highlighting the necessity of the increase and will respond to the working group’s report upon further implementation discussions.