Decoding Student Fees: Part two

The reasons behind student fees may go beyond what University of Alaska Anchorage students may know about them.

By knowing the reasons and uses for the fees, students can take part in a variety of programming, UAA community events and resources.

An eWolf ePortfolio can be used to create and curate a digital presence. Photo by Jason Herr.

ePortfolio — $8 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits.

The eWolf ePortfolio fee belongs to a lesser-known campus program.

“Portfolios are allowing students, staff or faculty to digitally tell their story for a particular purpose,” Paul Wasko, the ePortfolio coordinator at UAA, said.

An ePortfolio can help students with the transition from college into the working world, as it is used to create a digital station for students’ projects and research. An ePortfolio is a digital record that can store a multitude of multimedia content, which can be used to house research, information and content, such as a digital resume or storyboard.

ePortfolio materials including videos, presentations, assignments and audio files can be uploaded to the user’s ePortfolio and can be globally accessed as needed because the digital space is located online.

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Certain scholarships may also require the use of an ePortfolio, according to Wasko.

In recent years, students, staff and faculty have used the ePortfolio system at UAA to highlight their accomplishments and to share their work with those inside the university and beyond.

“Financially, the ePortfolio fee generates about $150,000 per year. We spend this money to pay for the licensing of the software tool and student support services,” David Dannenberg, director of Academic Innovation at UAA, said in an email.

By maintaining a digital record of their achievements and hard work, students can add an extra edge to their applications for employment or graduate school, according to Wasko.

The ePortfolio program can be accessed through their website.

Members of USUAA travel to Juneau to advocate for UAA students. Photo courtesy of the USUAA website.

Student Government Fee — $10 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits.

The Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage, or USUAA, is the governing body of the students of the university.

Through funds generated by the student government fee, USUAA can focus and host a variety of events, opportunities and resources to engage the student populace of UAA.

The fee helps to cover USUAA event costs such as event venues, catering, shuttling students and security fees. One such venue is the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage, which is used to host the Homecoming dance in October.

Another event sponsored by USUAA is a Thanksgiving feast. For students not able to make it home for the holiday, the feast is a way to enjoy a meal with their UAA family. The student government fee helps to pay for catering during this event.

The money from the student government fee also sends USUAA members to Juneau to collaborate with the state legislature and the other UA student governance programs to advocate for UA and UAA students.

“This fee gives us the tools to carry out our mission, and I would say the largest of that is the advocacy,” Clare Baldwin, USUAA president, said. “Without this fee, we would not be able to be in close contact with the other student governance groups across the state and the Legislature, especially in this [time] and the next few years.”

Concert Board — $10 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits.

The Concert Board is a group of seven UAA students that work to bring a variety of entertainment to the UAA campus and Anchorage community.

Concert Board positions are elected, much like in student government, and elections occur in the spring semester. Five seats on the board are students-at-large, while the two remaining seats are appointed from USUAA and the Club Council.

Funds were needed to host events, and to compensate performers for coming to Alaska. Aside from the entertainment, the Concert Board fee also helps to pay for venue expenses and advertising costs.

“[Students] used [the fee] to bring up bands, comedians, performers because the thought was they need some initial revenue for money to make these things happen,” Zac Clark, the Concert Board coordinator at UAA, said.

The Concert Board fee was originally $5 in 1993 and helped to kickstart events like the now traditional A Capella Festivella. About 10 years ago, the fee was increased to a flat rate of $10 to pursue hosting larger events.

The Concert Board has hosted artists including Macklemore, Flogging Molly and The Roots. The board was also responsible for bringing up Atmosphere last spring.

Outside of entertainment, the Concert Board is a starting point for students interested in learning about the entertainment industry and event planning.

“It provides an opportunity for students to learn. You may not be interested in the entertainment industry, but maybe you’re interested in logistics, maybe you’re interested in media,” Clark said.

Another benefit of the events hosted by the board is that it promotes UAA as an engaging university choice for future students.

Knowing the benefits of the organizations, resources and services funded by student fees can reveal a wealth of possibility for students to continue their growth while at UAA.

The remaining student fees will be discussed in future issues of The Northern Light.