There’s a budget for traveling in our tuition?

The Kent Student Center pays for students to travel with the student center budget.

More than 28,000 Kent State University students have access to the student center. There are many purposes for the student center. Eric Mansfield, Executive Director of University Media Relations, says the student center is the place for students to get together.

“They need a place where they can eat, a place where they can study, a place where they can relax between classes, a place where they can have meetings for student groups, a place to hear from student speakers, and we think our student center meets those needs,” Mansfield said.

Four things make up the student center: meeting rooms, banquet rooms, restaurants, and coffee shops.

The student center is centrally located on campus. Mansfield says students like the student center.

“We get great feedback on our student center from students that it’s a worthwhile investment, but it’s intentionally located in the middle of campus to meet those needs,” Mansfield said.

How much will students like the student center for budgeting money for some student leaders to travel?

I requested the 2015 Fiscal Year budget for the student center. As I was looking through the request, I came across a section called travel and entertainment. I was curious as to why there would be a section for travel and entertainment for a student center.

The original budget for the travel and entertainment section started at $28,000. I saw the line item detail for this section. The year to date for travel and entertainment was $17,623.05. In the 2015 fiscal year, the remaining balance for the travel and entertainment section was $10,376.95.

Travel and Entertainment

I asked Mansfield about the terminology in the budget. Travel I/S Conferences are in-state conferences. Travel O/S Conferences means out-of-state conferences.

“So as the budget is put together similar to all the other divisions, I/S and O/S would be in-state and out-of state, and generally they will set aside just a set amount of money for training. Sometimes it’s to…um we’ll send you out of state to visit a student center at another university to see: how do they do things, do they have enough space for X or Y, and how can we do things better,” Mansfield said.

The Center for Student Involvement holds more than 400 registered student organizations. Some of the student leaders from these organizations use this money for travel and training. The student-travel budget is for student leaders from these organizations to go to conferences. Mansfield says there is a reason for it.

“We might have student leaders that are in CSI or other organizations that we want to send them to conferences as leaders through CSI, so we budget some money, so that we have it if we want to send them,”

The entertainment expenses pool is for events throughout the year. “I would theorized that money is set aside as it is in other divisions for celebrations for students that would be in there. It may be that our basketball team advances to the tournament and we want to have a party…a watch party at the student center. We’ve got money set aside in the budget to provide hotdogs and hamburgers and things like that,” Mansfield said. “So we have a number of events throughout the year in the ballroom that invites students to be there. Sometimes we have concerts or speakers and this money gives us an opportunity to support those needs by having the money already set aside.”

Student Budget2

This is the tuition breakdown of a student’s bill. As you can see, 1.91 percent of the bill goes towards the student center. Last semester, Fall 2015, $809.70 was the general fee for a full-time undergraduate student for the Kent Campus. This makes 1.91 percent of $809.70 equal to $15.46 per full-time undergraduate student. Every full-time undergraduate student pays $15.46 every semester for the student center. Some of that money goes to the traveling student leaders and other parts of the student center.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the student center received $5,051,380. In the 2016 fiscal year, $5,102,350 was given to the student center, an increase of $50,970.00. The 2016 fiscal year ends on June 30. The finalized Budget Book for 2016 fiscal year will be released later this summer.

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