Every year as the semester starts many students hand over both their tuition and a lab fee that is suppose to benefit them in their major. The departments are able to use these fees toward their budgets to care for the department’s equipment.
Students have a general understanding that this extra money is going toward what they need while they are taking equipment heavy courses, even without the department listing everything it is paying for. What they don’t know is that if the money isn’t used, then it is lost for good.
While a majority of the departments have no means to save their unused lab fees, there is a restricted fund set-up for the sciences that makes sure that the department is able to keep money that will save to repair and replace equipment.
In the off chance that not all the money is spent, instead of losing it, each department should have the option to save the funds and put it toward equipment upgrades or buying the most up to date version of programs.
This would ensure that all classes that have to pay lab fees are getting the best experiences they can get.
For instance, students of the communications department’s radio classes are using out-dated monitors and programs for broadcasting. Learning the basics on this equipment is OK, but trying to build careers on it is not.
Just like the science department’s restricted fund all equipment heavy majors should have the option of setting aside funds to purchase equipment and upgrade at a steady pace instead of having to beg for money from the University.
It will take a load off of the University’s mind because there won’t be any sacrificial lambs in order to continue making the campus a better place as a whole for both students and faculty without having to take money from programs and students are able to benefit greatly.
It is the University’s responsibility to use the lab fees for the benefit of the students.
The fees are not only important to the budgeting of the departments but also to the student’s experiences and education.