Club fees in the works

Guilford has gained a reputation as a school overflowing with social conscience, channeled into a plethora of clubs and organizations. Are those clubs a taxable part of the Guilford experience?

In days gone by, early college (ECG) and CCE students paid for the privilege of participating in extracurricular activities. Some fees generated resentment, such as the one placed on nontraditional student admittance to Serendipity.

In recent years, the practice of charging for clubs and organizations has fallen out of use.

“They (ECG and CCE students) are benefiting from the traditional student activity fees,” Erica Cosentino, director of student leadership and engagement, said. “We’d like a balance.”

Cosentino goes on to outline the tentative plan the college has worked out with the Early College at Guilford.

“We thought about $25 per year,” she hazards. As high school students, ECG upperclassmen count in years rather than semesters, and the $25 would cover one high school year of admission to college clubs.

For CCE students, the rate may differ. $25 may suffice for every two organizations the students wishes to participate in. For unlimited access to clubs and activities, CCE students would be expected to pay $165.

The reason for the difference is unknown, but I would guess that as Guilford County pays a large part of the cost of attending college on the part of ECG students, they are covering a portion of this bill as well.

There are mixed feelings about the proposed hike in fees among nontraditional students.

“I mean, I’m not thrilled,” said early college student Kevin Janesch, “but it’s not the end of the world or anything.”

Early college student Elizabeth Dzugan’s initial reaction is more vehement. “That’s ridiculous!” she said, shaking her head.

Upon learning that traditional students pay club fees with tuition, however, Dzugan changes her mind. “Oh, well, then that’s okay. I guess that’s only fair,” she said.

The activities fee seems to evoke a similar reaction in those questioned: initial indignant confusion and subsequent acceptance.

Guilford is an institution that prides itself on its many clubs and organizations. Traditional students already pay a fee in order to keep said clubs in existence. It follows that nontraditional students who belong to the clubs must respect them enough to wish to keep them alive as well.

If it comes down to it, I’ll happily open my wallet for such a cause.

Don’t reach into your pockets too quickly; Erica Cosentino assured me that this was by no means a stamped and certified policy.

“Nothing is set in stone,” she said.