By Taylor Bouraad

Are you part of a club or organization on campus? Are you interested in becoming an executive member of an organization which has $1,000+ in their budget?

Do you enjoy listening to the campus radio station or reading The Statesman while drinking a cup of coffee?

Do you sign up for recreational classes at the Campus Recreation Center or play Intramural Soccer?

Do you participate in Humans vs. Zombies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then that fee of $99.50 that you pay every semester is serving you well.

The student activity fee is currently a mandatory fee of $99.50 which every undergraduate student pays each semester. This fee goes directly to the Undergraduate Student Government which is in charge of allocating it to represent the interest of the student body.

Every two years, as mandated by the SUNY Chancellor Guidelines, there is a referendum vote to decide whether or not the fee should be mandatory. The student body also determines the price of the fee.

Stony Brook needs the Student Activity Fee because it funds the clubs and organizations and events that make Stony Brook what it is. It provides support to the organizations that bring the Seawolves community together.

Being a part of organizations which are funded by the Student Activity Fee has not only given me a tremendous amount of leadership experience, but it has taught me how to manage a budget. This fee has allowed me to have the real life experiences that I came to Stony Brook University looking for. I wanted to learn more than what my Bachelors of Science in Marine Vertebrate Biology could provide me. I wanted to learn how to manage a budget greater than the $300 I had in my bank account. I wanted to learn how to work well with other people.

I know that I am not alone with this experience. I want to see more and more students becoming involved with student life on campus. This cannot happen if the Student Activity Fee is no longer mandatory.