An inside look at student fees

Infographic: Genessa Gutzait· The Sentry

Infographic: Genessa Gutzait· The Sentry
How your voice can be heard

by Sebastien Chiu, Vice Chair of the Student Fee Review Committee

Did you know there is a student-run committee that works as a system of checks and balances for the student fees you pay? You’d be surprised how many students would say they had no idea.

I had the same questions any new student on a campus would have when I first started. I was lucky enough to find myself working in events programming for CU Denver Live, a student fee-funded office that programs culturally centered events for students, by students. I was introduced to Matthew Kriese, the then-chair of the committee, in question and now Student Government President. We bonded not only through our mutual love of Star Wars but also our dedication to having a positive, lasting impact on the CU Denver’s campus. I found my future in the Student Fee Review Committee (SFRC).

What is SFRC? Over the past few years, that definition has changed, as the committee’s jurisdiction and responsibilities have grown. In the Fall semester, SFRC meets with the 26 student fee funded offices every Friday after reviewing detailed yearly budget requests called RFP’s (request for proposal).

The decision the six-person committee makes is sent to MFRT, the Management Fee Review Team, which is made up of professional staff. After taking our advice heavily into consideration, they make the final decision on whether to approve or deny student fee-funded budgets.

In spring, our duties involve outreach —understanding the concerns of the student body and helping you understand the student fees you pay. Throughout the year, the committee plays an advisory role in decisions made around student life. From the new student housing project to the reprogramming of Alternative Breaks, SFRC has a say in every decision that has a large-scale impact on the student body.

Since becoming Vice Chair of the committee, I’ve learned how the University works behind the scenes, gone out of my comfort zone interacting with higher administration, and, most importantly, grown my leadership and communication skills. As an added benefit, I’ve developed relationships with fellow student leaders who are my friends as much as co-workers. If the opportunity for any on-campus leadership position, whether it’s with Student Government, the Peer Advocate Leaders, or Events and Partnerships appears to you, I highly encourage you to take the leap of faith. How you grow will be entirely up to you.

Do you have any questions regarding student fees you need answered? Do you want to get your voice heard?

SFRC is hosting a livestream at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19 on all of CU Denver’s primary social media feeds, and you are welcome to attend in person at the Wartgow Welcome Center, located behind Undergraduate Admissions. Our special guest will be Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Raul Cardenas. If you have any general questions or just want to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at


The Sentry student newspaper is a student fee-funded organization.

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