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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.

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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 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.

 

The design of relief: JSU alumnae designs shirt to help hurting community

Lauren JacksonStaff Writer

There were warnings all day that severe weather was possible across Alabama on March 19. Schools released students early, and many businesses closed in preparation for the storm to come. The possibility of tornadoes was projected as early as a week in advance, and, throughout the course of the evening, eleven tornadoes broke out across Alabama.

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The shirt designed by JSU alumnae Hannah Green (photo from bonfire.com)

In Jacksonville, at least one tornado was confirmed with winds reaching 140 mph. According to an update provided to the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, 559 buildings were damaged. Of those damaged, 42 were destroyed, 146 took major damage and 371 took minor damage.

On the night of March 19, when the EF-3 tornado ripped through Jacksonville, Hannah Green was in Rome, Georgia visiting family. Green recently graduated from Jacksonville State University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and anxiously followed the path of the storm.

“I was panicking. The storm was supposed to come to Rome too, but I was really worried about my friends. I kept messaging them all and trying to make sure they were all okay,” said Green.

By the following morning, Green knew that she wanted to do something to help. She knew that she wanted to make something and to donate but was uncertain of what to make. Green would later design a graphic in support of the community that she would turn into a t-shirt fundraiser. The fundraiser has raised $6,506.

“The idea started with a graphic. I wanted to make something with art. That is what I majored in, and that is how I express myself,” Green said.

Her original goal was to sell 50 shirts, a goal which was met in the first hour of posting them online. The momentum continued to grow as the shirts spread on social media, and Green has sold 651 shirts so far.

“I just wanted to make something that I would want to wear, and that would support the community. Honestly, it has been just so overwhelming that so many people have chosen to support my shirt. There were so many other shirts they could have chosen. My original goal was to raise $400 then it got to $1,000 and then $2,000 and it just kept growing! I am excited to see what it can do for people,” said Green.

Green decided to donate the money to the disaster relief funds at the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama. All of the money donated to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief funds go directly towards the recovery process in the affected communities.

Green said, “At first I thought about donating the funds to the university, but after seeing the homes it was those people that I wanted to help.”

There are four county funds set up by the Community Foundation on their website, and one general fund. The funds have been in place since 2011 to ensure quick action after a disaster. After the March 19 tornadoes, the Community Foundation set up sub-funds to go directly to the communities hit by the storm.

Susan Williamson is the Vice President of Advancement and Communications at the Community Foundation. According to Williamson, the disaster funds have been in place since the 2011 tornadoes in preparation for any future disasters. The fund has had numerous donations since the devastation of the storm went viral.

“We have had donations from coast to coast,” said Williamson, “from Washington State to South Florida to Carolina. I like to call it generosity rising.”

Heather Lamey is the Director of Donor Grants and Standards for Excellence at the Community Foundation. According to Lamey, the Community Foundation helps with the long-term recovery of the communities.

“We step in during the long-term recovery, during the rebuilding process. As the months go by it is not so fresh on their minds and we are able to step in when resources run out,” says Lamey.

In a post on social media, Green shared her experience of donating the funds at the Community Foundation. There she and the ladies at the Community Foundation hugged and shared how the money would help the communities.

“The money we have raised can be used to fix roofs or to buy people new washer and dryers, and it has just made my day to know how we have helped so many people,” said Green in reference to those that purchased the shirts.

The Community Foundation assists the local area after other assistance has run out, working with contractors where insurance has not paid.

“After the 2011 tornadoes, we helped a lady that needed a ramp built at her home. We also had a school in DeKalb County that had been completely destroyed and we granted money for computers and new signs to the school. We pay contractors after the insurance claims have been exhausted – to meet the unmet needs,” said Lamey.

The long-term recovery efforts from the tornado can continue months after the storm. It can take time to determine all of the needs that insurance does not provide.

“Long-term recovery from 2011 took 18 months. It can be a year to a year and a half before we know the needs,” said Williamson.

Green’s donation to the Community Foundation has joined the numerous others that have come from across the nation. What began with an expression of support to her home of five years turned to a design of relief for her community.

“I have lived here my whole adult life. I always knew that it was home to me – it has a special place in my heart. Now after seeing how supportive everyone is of each other it has just made it so much more special,” Green said.

 

Gamecocks defeat Georgia Tech with 9th-inning walk-off winner

30168112_10157299303612738_6056021694934845869_oAlexus Jimmerson (22) talks to Ryann Luna (26) after an at bat Tuesday against Georgia Tech. Luna hit the game-winning single in the ninth inning against the Yellow Jackets. (Katy Nowak/JSU)

Daniel Mayes, Sports Editor

The Jacksonville State Softball squad took a break from their OVC schedule to take on the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech Tuesday night at Choccolocco Park, and the result was a thriller of a 2-1 walk-off nine-inning win for the Gamecocks.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, JSU sophomore Ryann Luna got an infield single that would score Anna Chisolm and claim the game 2-1 for the Gamecocks. Luna went 2-3 at the plate on the evening and tallied one RBI—the game winner.

Luna finished the deal for JSU, but the contest was a pitcher’s duel, with the two teams allowing just two total hits until the fifth inning.

JSU’s Faith Sims would outduel Tech’s Emily Anderson for the win.

Sims, who gave up just one run to a team that came in to the contest with 46 home runs on the season, pitched a complete nine innings, allowing just five hits while striking out nine, earning the win, her sixteenth on the year.

Anderson held her own for Tech, allowing just seven hits in 8 and 2/3 innings.

JSU finally broke through with their first run, a Hayley Sims RBI double, in the bottom of the fifth, to make the score 1-0.

The Yellow Jackets answered right back in the sixth, as a single with the bases loaded scored one to knot the game back up.

The contest stayed deadlocked until Luna’s game-clincher.

The win marks the second straight for the Gamecocks over Georgia Tech and the their third in the last five matchups.

JSU will resume their conference schedule at their home away from home this weekend, as the Gamecocks host a pair of doubleheaders at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

Morehead State will face the Gamecocks first for a pair of games beginning at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28.

Eastern Kentucky comes in for a two-game set on Sunday, also commencing at 1:00 p.m.

A Gamble pays off: Kasey Gamble elected SGA President

Breanna HillStaff Writer

JSU held its annual SGA elections on Tuesday, April 17. At 4 p.m. that afternoon, the new SGA positions were announced.

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Kasey Gamble was elected the 2018-2019 SGA President in Tuesday’s election (photo by Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Sophomore Kasey Gamble was elected president, replacing current president Ranger Rumrill, a graduating senior. Gamble has spent the past school year as the Vice President of the Student Activities (VPSA) for the SGA, has won the election and is now sporting the title of SGA President.

“I am so extremely blessed to be your new SGA President! Thank you SO much to those of you who voted today. I can’t wait to start working for you!” Gamble wrote on Facebook following the announcement, along with her hashtag, “#youtookagamble.”

Kasey began her involvement in the SGA towards the end of her freshman year. Right off the bat she became the VPSA. She contributed even more by becoming a student senator. Kasey is extremely passionate about the entirety of SGA and thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Executive Team.

The SGA is known for being an active organization on campus that is all about interacting with the entire Gamecock nation. Gamble takes her responsibilities seriously, and has shared her immense pleasure in being one of only five students that are to represent the entire Gamecock family.

Kasey shares her many thoughts, ideas and plans for the SGA for the upcoming 2018-2019 school-year in a series of campaign videos released in the week leading up to the elections. She plans to efficiently link a clear line of communication between students, the SGA and the administration. Kasey also plans to provide students the opportunity to voice their opinions, and she promises to keep the students up-to-date with the decisions and changes going on around campus.

“I want you to know what’s happening with our SGA and our administration and how these decisions will directly affect you,” Gamble said in her 12 video. “I also want to plan opportunities for you to connect with our administration. This way, you can tell your story and become more than just an enrollment number.”

Gamble is determined to make JSU feel like home for each and every individual that attends the Friendliest Campus in the South, and she is urging students to get more involved around campus. Gamble is thrilled to be the new President of the SGA, and is excited for the upcoming year. The SGA hopes to continue to grow and prosper under the direction of Gamble and the rest of the determined officers that make up next year’s Executive Team.

In the SGA, there are four vice presidents that cover different aspects of the organization. For this upcoming school year, the Vice Presidents are as follows: Laci Gurganus is now the Vice President of the Student Senate; Desmond Thomas is the VPSA; Ulises Herrera is the Vice President of Public Relations, and William Milner is the Vice President of Organizational Affairs. The following people will serve as SGA Senators: Mariana Alvarez, Kevin Barajas, Corvin Dixon, Tyler Elsberry, Gregory Heathcock, Nashby Fils, Justin Jones, Zavius Kidd, Adam McNeal, Devin Ogle, Brenden Perry, Brittany Sanders, Kathleen Seibert, Jerod Sharp, Madison Shearer, Taylor Smith, Olivea Taylor, Abigaile Warren, Kyra Watral and Kemuel Williams.

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Newly elected VPSS Laci Gurganus and her friend Kaleigh Ferguson hand out donuts on Tuesday in front of the TMB. Gurganus’ slogan was “‘Donut’ forget to vote for Laci!” (photo via Laci Gurganus (@laci_paige)/Instagram)

Along with these esteemed leaders, other JSU students were elected by their peers to be known as Miss and Mr. Friendly and also Miss and Mr. Jax State. The 2017-2018 Miss and Mr. Friendly are Rilee Sitton and Gregory Heathcock, and the 2017-2018 Miss and Mr. Jax State are Rebekah Beasley and Ethan Jackson.

A sincere round of congratulations is in order for all who participated in the election. The upcoming academic year is bound to be a success with such an incredible, determined and intelligent group of young leaders.