University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Student Governance and Policies

Student Policies

Chapter 205

Voluntary Fees of Students

1.  Overview

RCW 28B.15.610 authorizes students to voluntarily maintain fees upon themselves for student purposes. This policy establishes the University process by which students may, when authorizing a voluntary fee, seek the support of the administration in fee collection and service administration

2.  Implementation of Voluntary Fee

When a voluntary fee is authorized in accordance with the provisions of RCW 28B.15.610 the fee is thereafter mandatory for all students upon which the fee is imposed; however in situations where the fee is used to support political and ideological philosophies or other speech protected by the constitution students shall be allowed to opt out of the fee.

3.  Requirements of Collection and Administration

  A. Assessment of Student Support

Prior to asking the administration to collect and administer a voluntary student fee, ASUW and GPSS must assess student support for the fee in one of two ways: a survey of the student body, or a written petition.
  • If a survey is utilized, it must have response rates of at least 10% from the undergraduate student body and 10% from the graduate/professional student body. The results of the survey and analysis thereof shall be presented to ASUW and GPSS for their consideration.

  • If a written petition is utilized, the petition question must be submitted for review of the ASUW Board of Directors and GPSS Executive Committee. The written petition must gain signatures from at least 15% from the undergraduate student body and 15% from the graduate/professional student body. Petition forms must be consistent with the format available through ASUW and GPSS. The petitions must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life with enough time allowing for validation of signatures by the Registrar. Results of the petition verification and the physical petitions must be presented to the ASUW and GPSS.
ASUW and GPSS then may each pass a resolution that, when enacted under the process outlined in their bylaws, directs their executive officers to work with the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life and the sponsoring administrative unit on fee implementation.

  B. Sponsoring Administrative Unit

When proposing a voluntary fee that will be collected and administered by the University's administration, ASUW and GPSS must identify a sponsoring administrative unit that will provide the services that the fee is intended to support. If the fee is adopted and the Board of Regents approves collection, the sponsoring administrative unit shall both provide the services and serve as technical advisor to students in their oversight of fee administration. The sponsoring administrative unit shall provide fiscal support for a campus-wide survey, analysis of the survey results, and any necessary follow-up assessment. All data shall be jointly owned by ASUW and GPSS.

  C. Governance

ASUW and GPSS, in consultation with the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life, shall establish a fee oversight plan that includes, at minimum:
  • An oversight board consisting of students and accountable to the student body through ASUW and GPSS

  • A technical advisor from the sponsoring administrative unit

  • An advisor appointed from the Office of the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life.
  D. Implementation

ASUW and GPSS shall develop, in consultation with the technical and Student Life advisors, a memorandum of understanding, which codifies the following:
  • The implementation date of the fee and sunset date (if applicable)

  • The amount of the fee

  • The purpose for which fee proceeds are to be used

  • The population of students upon which the fee will be imposed

  • The fee oversight plan

  • The means for terminating the agreement/fee

  • Any other terms identified by the signatories as necessary to the smooth implementation and successful administration of the fee and associated services.
The memorandum of understanding is to be signed by the senior official of the sponsoring administrative unit, the Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life (with the Provost's concurrence) and, upon approval of the memorandum of understanding by the ASUW Board of Directors and GPSS Executive Board, the Presidents of ASUW and GPSS.

4.  Regent Approval Required

Following adoption of the memorandum of understanding, the signatories shall jointly seek authority from the University of Washington Board of Regents for the administration to collect and administer the fee on behalf of students. Implementation of the fee as envisioned in the memorandum of understanding is contingent on the regent's approval.

AP, May 12, 2011.