Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

A student addresses the Student Assembly during a meeting in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room on Oct. 12. In their Nov. 30 meeting, the S.A. voted to increase the Student Activities Fee to $424.

December 3, 2023

Student Assembly Proposes Increased Student Activity Fee of $424

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The Student Assembly voted in their Nov. 30 meeting to set the Student Activity Fee for the 2024-2026 byline cycle to $424 per student per year, marking a more than 35 percent increase and coming after weeks of deliberation over Resolution 39

The Student Activity Fee is a pool of funds that all Cornell undergraduates pay into in order to fund Cornell’s 29 undergraduate byline organizations, including the Student Activities Funding Commission, Slope Day and the Cornell University Emergency Medical Service. According to the resolution, the mandatory Student Activity Fee “shall be used to fund participation in and viewing of activities and programs that benefit the Cornell community.”

Overall, the Student Activity Fee was increased by 36.71 percent from the 2022-2024 byline cycle, when each student was required to pay $310 per year. This overall increase was attributed primarily due to inflation and increases in club activity since the pandemic, explained Rocco DeLorenzo ’24, vice president of finance. 

“I totaled the amount of times inflation came up in that [18] page report,” DeLorenzo said. “It came up around 14-16 [times, all] within different organizations just because they’ve all been really hit hard by inflation in the return [from] COVID-19, trying to expand programming at the same time.” 

The largest percentage increase in funding was for the Slope Day Programming Board, following mixed reactions to last year’s event. Slope Day funding via the Student Activity Fee more than doubled from $21 per student per year to $50 per student per year. This increase comes on top of $400,000 of SAFC rollover funds designated to the Slope Day Programming Board in S.A. Resolution 23

“The Slope Day Programming Board faces serious budgetary challenges that threatens its

ability to produce a successful Slope Day event in 2024,” the resolution explained. 

In order to ensure the funding will be used effectively, Resolution 23 was later amended via Resolution 25 to specify how the funds would be used and to authorize the S.A. vice president of finance to enforce said provisions. 

“The Student Assembly mandates that the $400,000 transfer be earmarked for usage towards the artist selection fee for the 2024 Slope Day,” the amendment specified.

The allocated $424 amount, along with the full report by the S.A., will now be sent to President Martha Pollack for final approval. The S.A. outlined what to expect in the event that the amount is rejected and a new number must be worked out to resubmit to Pollack. 

“[We will] work with SAFC to find an agreement around having to fulfill the 35 percent of the total SAF rule, identify the “breakeven bylines” or 50-cent bylines whose allocations can not be lowered and, for the remaining byline organizations, implement a standardized percentage across the board in seeking to be fair in the SAF process,” DeLorenzo explained. 

Other notable Student Activity Fee funding allocations include Cornell University Class Councils & Senior Days ($16.00, a 116.22-percent increase) and SAFC, to whom the S.A. allocated more than requested ($148.33, a 30.94-percent increase). The Gender Justice Advocacy Coalition is set to receive the same amount of funding as the previous cycle at $3.45, after the Appropriations Committee initially recommended a decrease in funding.

Kira Tretiak ’27 is a Sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].