Student fees provide valuable services


Daily Illini File Photo

Students wait for the CUMTD bus to pull up at the stop located at the Illini Union Bookstore.

By Kimmy Mueller, Social media director

Aa college student, you are making an investment in yourself as you pay for your tuition. While this money goes to paying for professors’ salaries and University upkeep, there is also a section of fees that are billed to students to provide additional services. Some of these fees are very small, only a few dollars per student, but provide major benefits when applied to the entire campus population. However, if you don’t take advantage of these services, you are essentially wasting that money.

Every student pays a mandatory health services fee to give them access to McKinley Health Center and the Counseling Center. This is separate from the student health insurance fee and students cannot opt out of it. Students should take advantage of the many services provided by the professionals at these centers when they are having issues with their mental or physical health.

Another fee provides Registered Student Organizations with the funds necessary to hold events and recruit new members. As a student, you can take advantage of this by joining campus RSOs and attending Quad Day to collect pens, t-shirts, lanyards and frisbees for free from various groups.  Even after Welcome Week is over, freebies are still found. Organizations are willing to grill up hot dogs or pass out pizza just to spread their name. These events are easy to hear about from fliers posted around campus.

When the weather takes a turn for the worse or you are headed to the opposite side of campus, you will be happy that your fees also provide you with unlimited access to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. There are bus lines that run around campus, stopping at most of the major intersections, and lines that will take students off campus to both Champaign and Urbana. When you board a bus off campus, just show the driver your i-card and ride until you reach your destination.

In the real world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but on campus, there are many events with free food provided. Every week during the semester, The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations will host “Lunch on Us”. These events are held at one of the various cultural houses where they provide lunch and a lecture, so come with open ears and an empty belly. Many times the food will be authentic to the culture represented by the house and is a great way to expose yourself to new flavors.

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The Illini Union Board is constantly hosting free events for students, including movie nights, guest speakers and comedians. One night each month the Illini Union Board hosts Illinites, which offers an alternative to common college nighttime practices. At Illinites, students can find free food, free entertainment, and free fun.

Students also pay a fee to give them access to campus recreation facilities. Physical health can be kept up on at the Activities and Recreation Center and Campus Recreation Center East. Students enter with an i-card and are granted free access to equipment, gymnasiums, and swimming pools. While taking exercise classes cost and additional fee,

The University provides awesome academic services for free as well. Textbooks can be rented from libraries. Writer’s Workshops are available to get advice on essays. Media technologies, such as cameras, can be rented out. Plus, best of all, the campus wifi is accessible in all campus buildings with your University log-in and password.

With all of these free items and events to be found on campus, I encourage us to not lose sight of the most important freedom of all. In college, you are free to be whoever you want; you are free to be YOU. So utilize that freedom and always stay true to yourself.

Kimmy is a junior in Media.
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