Decoding student fees: Part three

UAA students can find the benefits of paying student fees most anywhere around campus. The Transportation Fee helps to get students to class on time, the Green Fee works to keep water bottles full throughout the day and the Athletics Fee helps to keep students physically fit.

The Seawolf Shuttle is one of the transportation services that the Transportation Fee helps to pay for. Photo by Jason Herr.

Transportation Fee$13 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits.

The Transportation Fee provides access to a variety of transportation services on campus and in Anchorage, such as the Seawolf Shuttle, the UPASS program through People Mover or AnchorRides.

The Seawolf Shuttle is the bus system used on-campus to ferry students to other campus locations, including the University Center. Times and routes vary based on the day.

For students wanting to explore off-campus, UAA has partnered with Anchorage’s People Mover to implement the UPASS program. This program allows UAA students to use their Wolfcard ID to obtain free passage on the municipal bus system that travels throughout Anchorage and to more distant Eagle River and Wasilla communities.

AnchorRides is a shared-ride service that provides transportation to individuals with disabilities that prevent them from using the fixed-route system. Riders must be eligible for services.

However, the Transportation Fee does not currently cover all transportation costs for these services.

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“The fee is supplemented with funding from parking permit revenue as currently, all the revenue generated is deposited into the same operating budget,” Glenna Muncy, UAA Parking Services director, said.

A People Mover annual pass costs $660, while the cost of a monthly permit for Valley Transit is $120. The value of the parking fee is found in the money saved by students, according to Muncy.

“By paying $13 per semester, a student receives the equivalent of $2,100 worth of transportation services for a maximum charge of $39 per year,” Muncy said.

The Green Fee Board celebrated Earth Day in 2018 by hosting a Bike to School Day event for UAA students. Photo courtesy of the UAA Green Fee Board Facebook.

The Green Fee$3 flat fee for students registered in three or more credits at the main UAA campus.

Though only $3, the Green Fee can be used to make big changes in sustainability and earth-friendly programs on the UAA campus.

The fee is used by the Green Fee Board to pay for and implement student-led initiatives to create a more eco-friendly culture on campus.

The Green Fee Board is a group of seven students, five of whom are elected in the spring semester. The remaining two students are appointed by USUAA, the UAA student government.

The board oversees initiatives proposed by their peers and fellow students, as well as pursues their own sustainable campus projects.

“You get a lot of sustainable [and] reusable campaigns, so students have done reusable water bottles [and] reusable coffee mugs to give out to encourage people to reuse water bottles, to stop buying plastic bottles or reuse coffee mugs so they are not getting paper cups,” Zac Clark, the UAA Green Fee Board coordinator, said.

A well-known program initiated by the Green Fee Board is the numerous hydration stations found around campus. At the station, students, staff and faculty are able to refill their water bottles or containers, instead of adding their empty containers to the trash.

Other board-led initiatives include the removal of plastic straws from the many food and drink venues around campus, replacing plastic with paper straws. The board has provided reusable, bamboo straws to students in the past, according to Clark.

The Green Fee Board has also provided students with reusable shopping totes at past events, such as Bike to School Day on April 25 in honor of Earth Day. The initiative aimed to help remove plastic bag waste from UAA receptacles.

The Municipality of Anchorage plastic bag ban into effect on Sept. 15, requiring retailers to remove plastic bags from their stores and provide a reusable or more eco-friendly solution.

Larger Green Fee Board projects have included a bike-sharing program, new LED lighting in some of the residence halls and the exploration of installing additional solar panels buildings to improve sustainability through renewable energy.

The ice rink at the Seawolf Sports Complex will be home to the Seawolf hockey team starting this semester. Photo by Jason Herr.
Basketball courts are one of the many facilities located in the Seawolf Sports Complex on the UAA Campus. Photo by Jason Herr.

The Athletics Fee – $9 per credit for students registered in six or more credits with a maximum charge of $108.

The Athletics Fee is split into many different services, ranging from expenses associated with Seawolf sports to facility maintenance on both the Seawolf Sports Complex and the Alaska Airlines Center.

“The Athletic[s] Fee covers both recreation and athletics. So, what that gives students primarily is access to our building, all of our facilities, any time of the day that we’re open,” John David Gilbert, a recreation program supervisor at the Seawolf Sports Complex, said. “It also helps with intramurals and club sports. It covers a huge portion of the costs of that.”

One of the primary benefits for students who have paid the fee is access to the Seawolf Sports Complex’s many different exercise rooms, programs and facilities. The complex houses different work out areas, an Olympic weight lifting room, a stationary bike room, a dance studio, a pool, basketball courts and an ice-rink.

The Athletics Fee is small compared to what other local gyms will charge for the same services, such as the Alaska Club or Planet Fitness, according to Gilbert.

Recreation activities and opportunities are also available through the intramural sports office in the Seawolf Sports Complex, though additional fees do apply.

Ice-rink availability will change this year as the Seawolf hockey team moves their games to the Seawolf Sports Complex from the Sullivan Arena. Due to NCAA regulations, this will limit the hours and availability of the rink to students, according to Gilbert.

A portion of the Athletics Fee is used to support Seawolf sports teams and events, which includes transportation to events at off-campus venues and team budgets and operating expenses.

The fee is also used to provide free or reduced admission to Seawolf sporting events, allowing students to support the university’s teams at home games

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

Decoding student fees: Part one

Decoding student fees: Part two