eadline:Fine Arts Activity Fee left in hands of standing committee this year.

By Gus Bode

a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

HDeckhead:Dietz encourages compromise for next year’s allocations.

A commission of faculty and staff charged with putting together the procedure for dispensing the fine arts activity fee are expected to release their guidelines mid-semester.


In December, Larry Dietz, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, announced that he would honor the decisions of the existing fine arts committee.

“We need to be following the guidelines that set the fee up in the first place and work toward some compromise on representation,” Dietz said.

He challenged the group of faculty and student leaders to put together a procedure for the fee allocations next year. The committee is expected to meet soon to have the guidelines in place by mid-semester when fall allocations are distributed.

Currently, the committee to sponsor fine-arts events for students allocates the fee. So far this year, it has brought events such as the Cavani string quartet, guest speaker and underground director John Waters and renowned poet Regie Cabico to campus.

Undergraduate Student Government Senator Mary Wallace wrote and submitted the initial legislation concerning the fee, calling for USG and the Graduate and Professional Student Council to appoint all student members of the Fine Arts Committee and approve all allocations. She worked to get the fee instated and has been working to bring both groups to a compromise.

She said she expects to sponsor a meeting with the USG and Fine Arts Fee Committee members and faculty by the end of the week to begin detailing how the fee will be handled for next year.

“There has been a lot of miscommunication since this began,” said Wallace, a junior in psychology from Oak Lawn. “It’s something we can easily work through together.”


The operating papers for the Fine Arts Committee are the main point of contention between the groups. They require the members to be appointed by their department and outline a process for sponsoring events on campus.

Wallace said the drafted legislation is to provide for the future of the committee. She said she was impressed with its current members for doing what is in the best interest of the students, but there are no assurances that future committees will be as dedicated. The committee as it stands is not accountable to the students.

Emily Ostendorf, a senior in English and member of the fee committee, said she does not think USG is making an unreasonable request. However, she said the committee just wants to operate as it was set up, in the good faith of the students.

She said she is concerned with the fate of the committee if USG gets what it requests.

“There is a big turnover of USG representatives every year, and the new ones may not hold to the best interests of the committee,” Ostendorf said. “There is no safeguard for the future that membership will be people who are connected, dedicated, and knowledgeable of the fine arts.”

Wallace said committees are formed through USG on a first-come, first-serve basis, and she does not doubt that members currently on the committee would be appointed by USG once they requested to be on it.

She believes it is necessary for the committee to be representative of the students by giving all students the opportunity to be on it. Every other campus-wide committee is currently appointed with student representatives by USG.

She said that bringing the fine arts committee under USG is not about control, but about adding a system of checks and balances to hold the committee accountable to the students who pay the fee.

Dietz said he does not think both sides are that far apart on the main issues.

“We have a fee generating money, bringing experts from outside of the institution whom we would never have been able to bring in without that fee,” Dietz said. “We need to keep our eye on the prize and not get bogged down with committees to forget what it was put in place for:to enliven the fine arts on campus.”

Reporter Valerie N. Donnals can be reached at [email protected]