Payment rate of student union fee declines drastically
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Payment rate of student union fee declines drastically
  • Jang Ji-won
  • 승인 2013.09.16 17:18
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Payment Rate of Student Union Fee.
Students’ payment rate concerning the student union fee decreased substantially this year. Compared to 77.91 million won for last year’s spring semester, the student union fee for this year’s first semester amounted to only 58.2 million won, showing a decrease of approximately 25 percent. As the second semester’s total student union fee is usually less than that of the first semester, the payment rate for this year’s fall semester would seem to drop further. The student union fee is paid selectively by Ewha students during the tuition payment period. Each student can choose to pay 7 thousand won for each semester, and the total student union fee is divided among the Student Government Association (SGA), Ewha Club Union (ECU), Pungmul Band Union (PBU) and the student council for individual colleges. Usually about 70 to 80 percent of the registered students pay the student union fee. However this year, only 8,314 out of 16,083 Ewha students made the payment, resulting in a low payment rate of about 50 percent. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) thinks this phenomenon may be a result of recent negative publicity. “We are guessing that the current situation is due to the news of another university’s student government embezzling the student union fee and showing corrupt behavior at the beginning of this year,” said Chung Soo-hyun, the assistant manager of the OSA. The SGA agrees with this idea and says that although there are other reasons for the low student union fee payment issue, the SGA has its limits in figuring out the various factors. Many students showed indifference about paying the student union fee and did not seem to feel the need to make the payment. “I didn’t pay the fee because other students told me there is no penalty for not paying,” said a student who wishes to remain anonymous. “Plus, I don’t think the SGA is doing anything for me so I didn’t really want to pay the student union fee.” About 55 percent of the total student union fee goes to the SGA, and the money is used to carry on with the SGA businesses such as distributing student planners and executing the Daedong Festival. Following the substantial decline rate of the fee, the SGA is suffering from financial difficulties. Compared to last year’s 43 million won, SGA’s budget for the first semester this year was downsized to 35 million won. “Due to the circumstances, the SGA is currently experiencing a financial deficit which amounts to 5 million won,” said Bong Woo-ri (Dance, 4), the president of the SGA. “As an attempt to improve this problem, the SGA has been appealing to Ewha students to submit student union fees through posters and social network services.” The ECU got custody of 13 percent of the student union fee this year, but received 2.5 million won less than last year. “We have always been experiencing difficulties from the tight budget, but this year the situation is much worse,” said Hong Suk-young, the president of the ECU. “We, the members of the executive committee, have to pay for things with our own expense to cover up the costs, and the financial burden is too big.” The PBU is also not free from financial crisis due to the significant drop of the student union fee. The PBU receives about 1 to 2 percent of the total fee. Although the percentage remains the same, the total amount resulted in a 20 percent decrease of this year’s budge scale. “The PBU’s financial situation has been compromised these days and we have been continuously discussing ways to deal with this situation,” said Park Mi-hui (Economics, 3), the president of PBU. “It is difficult because we already have arranged events and because we have more members than before.” According to the OSA, the office is always encouraging student activities by giving students financial aid. “Despite the fact that the tuition fee is decreasing every year, the OSA is trying to expand the benefits of financial support to students,” Chung said. “We are also looking into the reasons for the recent decline and ways to clarify the use of the student union fee with the SGA.”

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