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Questions ensue over KAMP fee refund policy

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 14, 1998
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When students voted last year to donate $1 per semester to KAMP Student Radio, the Arizona Board of Regents and UA President Peter Likins said the dollar would be refunded upon request through the Bursar's Office.

But the University of Arizona Bursar's Office and Arizona Student Media are now confused about who exactly is the responsible party in charge of paying the refund.

When asked about the refund policy, Bursar's Office customer service representatives said the policy was to refer students to the student media office.

Mark Woodhams, director of student media, said he has never heard of the Bursar's Office policy, which one customer service representative said she received through her personal e-mail. She refused to print out a copy.

"That is the first I heard of it," Woodhams said. "That is not how the arrangement was initiated to the best of my knowledge."

According to the Feb. 26-27 regents' minutes, students can receive refunds by filing a written request in the Bursar's Office.

A regents' information item executive summary states: "The University proposes to begin collecting this fee in May, 1998, with refunds available through a written request to the Bursar's Office."

The minutes from the February meeting also state that Likins told the board that the fee was not mandatory, "as the $1 will be refunded upon request."

There is no mention of Woodhams or student media in the documents.

Woodhams also said no student has come to his office to pick up a refund.

A student vote in March 1997 approved a $1-per-student annual fee for the next five years to help the UA's KAMP Student Radio survive financially and possibly improve its current broadcasting capabilities.

Justin Clifton, KAMP's general manager, said the station's budget has been very thin in past years, which is what kept it from getting a license through the Federal Comm-unications Commission.

Clifton said the station doesn't want to force students to give money against their will.

"KAMP student radio by no means wants to take students' money that they don't want to give," he said. "Evidently, the Bursar's Office is unaware that the fee is refundable."

Clifton also said that KAMP will not be issuing refund checks, as it is the Bursar's Office's re-sponsibility.

But another $1 student fee, for the Arizona Students Association, is refundable through its Tempe office.

Sam Leyvas, ASA's executive director, said Friday that bureaucracy is avoided by sending checks from his office.

"Our organization has always been opposed to those mandatory fees that don't have a refund mechanism," he said. "We lead by example."

Leyvas also said that ASA will send a check for $1.32, to refund the stamp that students use to send the $1 refund request.

Calls to Associate Bursar Jean Johnson's office were not returned Friday, and Bursar's Office supervisors refused to comment on the policy discrepancy.

David J. Cieslak can be reached via e-mail at David.J.Cieslak@u.arizona.edu.

Financial Times Fall 98