Editor’s Note:We know what you’re thinking. A campus election in fall? What’s next, hell freezing over? Flying pigs?
The folks over at Associated Students have also decided to tack on their own failed initiative from last quarter. The initiative called for an $8 increase in student fees. It needed 66 percent of the vote to pass and failed by 140 votes – or 1 percent. Now A.S. is calling for a $10 fee increase to keep itself and student organizations afloat or else face a very dismal, dull year in terms of finances.
Since A.S. has the ability to call a special election whenever it wants, as long as there is no more than a single election in one quarter, we get a chance to rehash these two initiatives from last spring.
You won’t find any election booths between Oct. 8 and 10, however. For the first time, this special election will be held online. Students can sign on through the GOLD system and go to the special student election section to cast their votes for the MCC Lock-in Fee and A.S. Base Fee Initiative.
What follows is the Daily Nexus Endorsements section. It stands as a guide to voters about the current special elections and the stance of the Nexus editorial board on these initiatives.
Your ability to vote is one of the few ways you have of letting the university know how you feel. Whether or not you agree with us, please remember to go online and cast your vote this week.
Last spring, the Daily Nexus endorsed the A.S. base fee increase of $8. It was a sound way of making sure that student groups could still remain active in the face of the A.S. budget crisis, brought about by the loss of nearly $1 million by mismanaging students’ money through technology stocks.
If this were spring and the new $10 increase were on the ballot, we would probably endorse it. The initiative would help student organizations be productive and prevent A.S. from leeching cash from these groups through administrative fees. Our student government’s financial woes would come to an end and we wouldn’t have to look at another fee increase for years to come.
But this isn’t spring, and the timing of the special election stinks.
A.S. has the ability to call a special election whenever it pleases, and this one seems more in the interests of the executive board than of student groups. Without the fee increase, A.S. won’t be able to mismanage its funds or waste money on excessive travel expenses, which is fine. A.S. can spend the year learning from its past mistakes.
Supporters of the initiative claim that the failure of the base fee last spring was because students weren’t educated enough about the base fee. Calling a special election three weeks into the school year gives A.S. the chance to brainwash nearly 3,000 freshmen and push its propaganda on the rest of us – it’s hardly an education.
Last year’s election showed the largest voter turnout in the past decade. They’d seen what A.S. did and knew what they were voting for. If A.S. wants the general student body to know what it does, it should show us great things instead of telling us how great it could be.
A lean year, although painful to student groups, might be just what A.S. needs. It will give students a chance to see what happens when organizations can’t get funding, and it will teach A.S. that severe repercussions come when you’re irresponsible with other people’s cash.
The Daily Nexus strongly opposes the A.S. base fee initiative.