Editor, Daily Nexus:
Josh Baker’s lock-in fee bill was the topic of last Wednesday’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting. The Nexus article (“Council Debates Trustee Accounts,” May 10) gave both sides of the story, but omitted the fact that the A.S. Recycling Program is being targeted by this bill as well. So we wanted to get our two cents in.
A.S. Recycling consistently works very hard to meet our goals, especially the goal issued by the California Legislature, called the Strom Martin bill (Mandate A.B. 75), which states that UC schools must reduce their waste 50 percent by the year 2004. In 1996, students voted in favor of our lock-in fee, and we petitioned to allow us to accumulate this money so we can save and fund our big projects and pay for regular maintenance. These big projects are essential for ensuring that we will meet our goals. The challenge of reducing our campus’ waste gets harder every year with the ever-growing student population. We are currently building a recycling refuse, developing a website and improving our bikes’ durability so that we can do our job and get the positive message out about the countless benefits and the real necessity of recycling.
As for Baker’s claim that we are unaccountable for the money we save, we submit our budget and report our projects to A.S. for its approval on a consistent basis. To take away our ability to save our lock-in fees prevents us from effectively expanding our program and reducing our campus’ waste stream. In fact, with our current savings we are barely able to pay off our current expenses. This bill will damage our program in the long run and threatens our proud slogan, “student funded, student run.” We wish Mr. Baker had spoken with us about our lock-in fees before introducing legislation that would wipe it out.
If the budget is in trouble, A.S. Legislative Council should hold the budget handlers “accountable” and not the very programs that meet the needs of everyday students. Consider the list of targeted organizations by this bill: The Shoreline Preservation Fund, Education Opportunity Program, Isla Vista Tenants Union and A.S. Recycling. There is not a better list of campus organizations that promote campus diversity and tolerance, civil rights and environmental awareness.