JSU generated over $8.3 million in fees from Fall 2018, Spring 2019 semesters

By Scott Young

News Editor

Each student who was enrolled at Jacksonville State University in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters paid a $200 ‘general university fee’ on top of numerous other small fees and hundreds of dollars in tuition per credit hour.

Buffy Lockette, JSU’s public relations director, provided a breakdown of the general university fee from the JSU Controller’s office as well as information about how the allocations are decided.

Of the $200 fee, $60 went to transportation, $40 to student health, $35 to university recreation, $35 to the library, $15 to classroom improvements, $10 to capital planning and facilities and $5 to ‘special projects’. The special project for the 2018-2019 fiscal year was labeled ‘Marching Southerners’.

For Spring 2019, the university initially allocated $35 of the $200 fee to university recreation. Lockette later stated that the $35 for university recreation allocated in Spring 2019 was “re-allocated internally in the spring to capital projects to support technology upgrades in the classroom.” However, the $35 for university recreation in Fall 2018 was not reallocated.

“The Tuition and Fees Committee makes a recommendation each year to the President and VP of Business and Finance [James Brigham] and those recommendations are reviewed and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval at the April trustee meeting,” said Lockette.

According to Blake Hunter, the coordinator of Institutional Research at JSU, during the fall semester of 2018, there were 8,479 students enrolled at JSU and in the spring semester of 2019 there were 7,726 students enrolled.

On average, Jacksonville State University students pay just shy of $4,000 for tuition each semester, not including fees. The JSU ‘general university fee’ generated an estimated $3,241,000 from both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 alone, while the Recreation and Fitness Center fee, technology fee and student activity fee brought in an estimated $5,104,575.

Lockette went on to state that the fee allocations for the Fall 2019 semester have not been decided, and that fees for the upcoming semesters will be bundled and charged per credit hour.

Summer Fee Graphic
Infographic shows the 95 percent and 5 percent split of the $200 Summer General University Fund.

 

For the summer, students taking between one to three credit hours pay a $100 general university fee and students taking three or more credit hours pay $200. However, despite the $100 difference between these two fees, students who paid $100 and those who paid $200 both have equal access to the Recreation Center for the entire summer.

Lockette confirmed that during the Summer 2019 semester, 95 percent of the general university fee was allocated to the Recreation and Fitness Center, while the remaining five percent is allocated for student health.

Microsoft Word - Allocation of General University Fee.docx
JSU Public Relations Director Buffy Lockette confirmed the breakdown of the Summer General University Fee with this document above.

 

“As long as a student is taking at least one class, they will have access into the facility for the whole summer,” said Cecelia Chavez, the coordinator of facility operations for the Recreation Center.

Ashley Stephens, an art major at JSU who is taking summer classes, expressed dissatisfaction with the university over the two different fee amounts for equal summer Recreation Center access.

“As someone who is taking 11 hours and knowing that people taking only 3 hours don’t have to pay as much as me for fees makes me mad,” said Stephens. “It’s not fair to me and anyone who is trying to continue their education. This isn’t good for students’ pockets, and it’s not good for JSU’s image.”

Students like Emily Barfield, a cellular and molecular biology major, have no problem with allowing all summer students equal access to a facility she denotes as “necessary”.

“I’m taking six credit hours this summer so I paid the $200general university fee. I am not bothered that students who only paid $100 get to use the same recreation center that I get to use,” said Barfield. “On the other hand, I would be bothered if they just let any student, regardless if they were taking classes or not, use the recreation center after we had to pay the fee.”

The breakdown of where the general university fee is allocated is not readily available on the JSU website, nor is it reflected on students’ accounts when paying tuition and fees. The Chanticleer obtained the information by contacting Buffy Lockette, who then requested the information from the Controller’s office.

Stephens argues that the university should be more public with information pertaining to tuition and fees, including where the general university fee is allocated.

“I know most people want to know where their money is going,” said Stephens. “I think it can make the university look shady and like they’re withholding information from the students and their parents.”

Barfield sided with the university, citing the methods and practices of other universities.

“I looked into that [public accessibility of fee breakdown] with other universities and no other universities had anything about their fees or where the money actually goes posted on their websites,” said Barfield. “As much backlash as JSU has gotten from this recreation fee, I think they may even be less open about things moving forward.”

Lockette defends the university’s process of deliberating tuition and fee changes. She describes the Tuition and Fees committee as a “diverse mix of faculty, staff and students.”

“All trustee meetings are open to the public, the SGA President has a seat at the table, and the President’s office always sends a reminder email inviting the Chanticleer to attend,” said Lockette.

Editor’s note: Fees have been applied to student accounts for students who are already enrolled in fall classes. Starting in fall of 2019, the “General University Fee” covers all other fees (excluding individual program fees.) For students taking more than six hours this coming semester, the flat rate is $700, which is an $113 increase from previous semesters (based on an average student’s 12 hour semester.) For more information on the fall fees, visit JSU’s Office of Student Accounts page at http://www.jsu.edu/bursar/fees/index.html and look for a new article from The Chanticleer soon regarding the changes to the fee structure.

Summer Rec Center fee has students feeling the burn

Scott Young

Chanticleer News Editor

Students not enrolled in the summer semester do not have access to the new Recreation and Fitness Center and must pay for summer access. Summer access for those who are not enrolled, but finished the previous semester is $190 for the entire summer semester, $95 for half a semester or $49 monthly.

The $32 million dollar Rec Center was mired in controversy earlier this year for implementing a mandatory $190 fee per semester beginning Spring 2019. Many students have criticized the move to not allow summer access to those not enrolled, saying that their $190 fee per semester should cover year round costs and allow them access.

“I think the summer fee is ridiculous. Students have always been able to use Stephenson for free in the summer and the pool in Pete Matthews. The Recreation Center should be no different,” said a JSU student, who asked to remain anonymous. “JSU should have told students about the summer fee way before the summer approached but everyone found out around mid April which is not fair.”

Stephenson Hall, the previous student fitness facility on campus, allowed students to have access year-round. Many have criticized the summer access policy because it deviates from the access that Stephenson provided.

“I think it’s outrageous. I personally used the facility pretty often,” said Jacob Roberson, a music education major. “We’re college students, not financial moguls. I get that the university has to make their money, but jeez that’s a lot for a gym membership. It makes me sad that’s the reason I can’t maintain my new hobby of rock climbing.”

Not all students have issues with the mandatory summer fee, however.

“I can understand the annoyance of students who aren’t taking summer classes but work and live in Jacksonville. At the same time though, I feel as if would be unfair for the students who did have to pay that fee to watch students who didn’t pay any fees gain access to the Rec Center,” said Jerod Sharp, SGA Vice President of Student Senate.

Sharp goes on to argue that students are capable of paying for monthly access to the Rec Center if you have a job and are good at balancing a budget.

“In the end, we have to pay the Rec Center off because we’re under a contract to do so,” said Sharp.

 

Mercy Black, more like mercy whack

Breihan Dryden, A&E Writer


Thousands of years ago into the future, the year was 2014 and two pre-teens thought it was a cool idea to lure their friend into the woods and stab her to appease a fictional creepypasta known as “Slenderman” (or as I like to call him, SlenDaddy Long Arms). Why do I bring this up? Well, my dear reader, this is basically the plot of the 2019 horror film Mercy Black. Obviously, this might come across as being in poor taste to some people. I find it a bit odd that this movie could be considered far more offensive to the OG victim’s family, yet the actual Slenderman movie (that shares surprisingly little to do with actual crime) was subject to a crap ton of controversy when it was finally crapped out by Sony, but I digress. My point? “Is this in poor taste” isn’t something I generally consider when reviewing a film. No, “Mercy Black” isn’t a bad movie because of what it’s based on, it’s bad because it just kind of sucks.

Seriously, I was actually interested in this movie when it popped up on Netflix outta nowhere a couple of weeks ago. It looked like the Slenderman movie that I always wanted. Sure it wasn’t *actually Slenderman, but the title character of the film, the aforementioned Mercy Black, looked cool and it didn’t look like your average “is the monster real or is the crazy person jUsT cRaZy?” horror movie. It’s kind of disappointing to watch it and find out that, yeah, it’s just a bland, milk toast, and cliché-ridden direct to video (VOD, actually) horror movie, complete with creepy kids, lame jump scares, exposition dumps, and every adult acting like an actual, literal baby. Now excuse me while I re-use the same review format from my Us review, because I’m tired and I wanna go to bed.

So what did you like?” Well, something I thoroughly dig is the look and use of color in this movie. Reds and blues permeate throughout and the whole film has a really solid look. Lots of cool shots are scattered about the film and there was only one CGI shot that I could see. Yes, that means that “Mercy Black” is chock full of some pretty decent practical effects. Mercy herself is a real, physical presence in the film….kind of. More on that in a second. Some other things that are decent: the editing….uh, the soundtrack? Maybe? It’s a pretty decent soundtrack.

Sooooo what didn’t you like?” Pretty much everything else. The acting is dodgy, the story makes no sense, the film doesn’t follow its own rules, and what is perhaps the most egregious problem this movie has, it’s just sooooooooooooooo boorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring. Forreals though, homie. The pacing of this film constantly chugs back and forth between breezing through what seem to be important moments, just to spend fifteen minutes with people we don’t care about, doing things we don’t care about, in places that don’t matter. Plot convenience? This movie has loads of that, too. Since when does the creepy son of the sister of the crazy lady have a fat best friend? From the earlier scenes of him at school, it implies that if he isn’t bullied, he at least stays away from other kids. So why is he hanging out with someone now? Oh yeahhhhh, it’s because we need fatty to be in this (admittedly cool torture scene). Also, don’t get mad because I’m calling him fatty; a good number of people in this movie (including lard lad and Dwight from The Walking Dead) are straight up Dicks, like my good friend Richard.

Is Mercy Black a good movie? Oh god no. Didn’t you read the last paragraph? No, Mercy Black is a couple of steps above bottom of the barrel Netflix trash like American Poltergeist II, 13/14 Cameras, The Hatred, or Cam. At least it has those few steps, though. Besides, it’s still leagues better than the actual Slenderman movie. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to turn Slenderman into a f——- tree??!

Mercy Black gets 4 Golden Taylors out of 10

Umbrella Academy is a ride worth taking

Taylor Mitchell, A&E Editor


The Umbrella Academy is a comic book series written by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, originally beginning publishing of its first limited series in 2007. It has since done two more limited series with the first issue of the third being released in October of 2018. With the series meeting critical and fan acclaim it was only a matter before the series got picked up for a Tv show or movie. This brings us to the Netflix Television adaptation The Umbrella Academy

The show starts with the miraculous event of  43 children being born the same moment all across the world, despite none of their mothers being pregnant until they went into labor. Sir Reginald Hargreeves, an eccentric and reclusive billionaire, then decides to adopt as many of these children as he can, which predictably is only seven, in order to train them as a superhero team. 20 years later the children, which have long gone their separate ways, reunite for their adoptive father’s funeral. Sadly, things start to fall apart as they learn of a looming threat and that things about their childhood may not be what they seem.

I am going pretty light on plot this time because the story and writing are by far the greatest aspects of the show. The dialogue is top notch and the story feels pretty satisfying. The one issue I will give is that near the end of the season the pacing just kicks into overdrive, which can be pretty jarring. This only really comes into effect on the last couple of episodes though, so it doesn’t drag down the whole thing to much. It’s because of this I would say that the show is stronger at the beginning than the end, which drags it down from the great heights it climbs to.

The greatest achievement of the show is its characters. They are all written and performed incredibly well. In particular I want to give massive credit to Aidan Gallagher and Robert Sheehan who play Number 5 and Number 4/ Claus. Gallagher’s only main acting credit up to this point has been a Nickelodeon show (though granted an Emmy award winning one), yet he is by far the most fun and engaging actor in Umbrella Academy. The fun thing about 5 is that he is an old man in a 15 year old body, and somehow Gallagher sells that with a level of authenticity that is astounding. Sheehan also played a part that would be hard to balance out for most actors incredibly well. Claus often rides the line between annoying fool and tragic addict, ad Sheehan brings a lot of delicacy to towing that line that helps keep the character believable and not cartoonish.

If there is one big acting problem I would say it comes from Ellen Page, who plays Number 7/Vanya. I won’t go into why buy for most of the season Vanya is on medications that specifically bring her down and even her out, which Page does a wonderfully job of portraying. The catch comes later when Vanya becomes more emotional, and Page doesn’t sell that emotion at all. Admittedly, this is a generally issue I have with her acting in most things, she just never seems to emote in quite the right way. It’s always too much or too little, usually too little. I will say this on crops up at the end though, and all the other performances stay stellar throughout, so it may not be a huge issue.

All in all The Umbrella Academy is a really good show and everybody should give it a shot. It does have a few minor issues, but rest assured they are minor.

The Umbrella Academy gets 8.5 golden Breihans out of 10

Episode III: the strongest prequel

James King, A&E Writer


This is the Star Wars movie I’ve been wanting to see since beginning this look at Star Wars movies. It’s not the strongest movie in the Star Wars canon, but after the wasteland of boredom that was the first two movies in the prequel trilogy, it’s definitely the strongest of the three. The movie does have a few big flaws, but its enjoyable enough that I wasn’t as bored by it as I was with the other two prequels. The movie basically is one big action flick, but it was a welcome turn after the first two movies focused on the politics of the characters. This was honestly the only prequel movie I would recommend actually watching, because other than character introductions and set up, it’s the only prequel that really gives any of the characters something to do.

The story in this movie has problems with pacing. Some parts of the movie feel like they skipped over way too fast; like Anakin’s ultimate turn to the dark side or the deaths of the villains. These parts should have held a lot of emotion, but are not set up enough for the audience to really care. The movie also doesn’t give you much time to breathe in between scenes of war and scenes of dialogue. The fast pace does help strengthen the movie, though as it keeps the movie from dragging which has been a major problem in the last couple of movies.

This movie was also one of the better-looking Star Wars, it’s a CGI fest, but it never is as distracting as it was in the Phantom Menace and it has aged pretty well. The beginning war scene is a visual feast with tons of robots flying through space and giant space ships exploding. The dialogue isn’t as strong as it has been in some of the previous Star Wars films. I have problems remembering anything the characters said beyond a few lines from Obi-Wan towards the end of the movie. It’s not enough to drag the movie down, but worth mentioning since the dialogue has been the best part of Star Wars.

It’s not one of the strongest movies, I feel like that honor goes to The Empire Strikes Back. Revenge of the Sith does have some of the strongest acting of the prequels. I wasn’t begging the actors to emote like I was with the first movie or just bored with the acting like in the second. I actually was actually much more engaged with the story this time. It makes me really looking forward to watching the modern Star Wars movies to see how they stack up to the other movies.

I am still not quite caught up with all the movies I still need to watch The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens for that, but it has been fun catching up on the various trilogies. These movies mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Much like the way they describe the force in these movies, they connect people and brings them together.