The largest number of student voters in the past decade voted not to raise A.S. fees, including an $8 per student per quarter fee that both A.S. and campus groups said was desperately needed.
The A.S. Initiative, which would have provided funding for student services like the A.S. Bike Shop, A.S. Notetaking and Publications, A.S. Program Board, KCSB, and Community Affairs Board, received 62.3 percent of the over 4,300 votes cast; it needed 66 percent. The A.S. B.I.K.E.S. lock-in, which would have put money toward building a bikepath near Broida Hall and a Student Health fee also failed.
But the biggest concern for A.S. is the failure of the base fee, which leaves the student government in a dire financial situation next year.
“Obviously that just changes the whole thing within A.S. I mean not having any money and not even beyond not having money, just being in a huge debt is going to really make us come up with some creative ideas on how to run the student government in adequate fashion,” said Deanna Kavanaugh-Jones, the External Vice-President for Local Affairs-elect. “We’ve always tossed out the idea of a student union or trying to create something that’s a little more accepting for all students and making sure that people, that money isn’t our top priority if we don’t have any.”
Kavanaugh-Jones and other candidates said they never really thought the base fee would not pass.
In the past, student organizations went to A.S. Finance Board for funding, but A.S. will not be able to provide the $150 base fee for these groups next year. Leg Council Rep-at-Large Manuel Silva predicted major cutbacks in addition to a hike in recharges – the administrative fees student groups pay to A.S.
“We’re going to have to work with no base fee budget … honoraria will be cut back to the executive offices only and recharges will go up,” he said.
Students who opposed the base fee increase, like presidential candidate Chris Hook, said its failure would force A.S. to be more efficient.
“I forsee positive changes will be made to the bylaws and the budgets out of the necessity to use our funds more efficiently,” he said. “It will be hard to prioritize how funds will be spent, but overall it will be beneficial because it will force A.S. to fix inefficiency problems.”
Students also voted down initiatives to decrease the size of Legislative Council and charge the base fee during Summer Quarter. All 10 reaffirmations for existing fees passed.