Representatives from some on-campus organizations said that they are disappointed with the failure of the A.S. Initiative in last quarter’s special election, but said they will find a way to maintain their planned programs without the extra revenue the initiative would have generated.
The A.S. Initiative, which would have increased the current base fee that undergraduates pay each quarter by $10.40, failed during the Nov. 16-18 special election. Two-thirds of the students who voted – just over 20 percent of the student body – had to vote “yes” for the initiative to pass. The initiative failed by a small margin with only 63.16 percent voting in favor.
Aseye Allah, president of the Black Student Union (BSU), said the club would have liked to see the initiative pass because during the Winter and Spring quarters BSU depends on support from A.S.
“It’s actually going to affect us really heavily in Spring and Winter quarter when we put on most of our events,” she said. “We will be getting less [money from A.S.] than we have received in the past.”
But Allah said even though BSU will receive less money from A.S., events the organization has planned for the Winter and Spring quarters will not be cancelled. She said it will be harder to put on the events, but with extra fundraising, BSU will be able keep all of their events on the calendar.
Richard Jenkins, activities adviser for the Office of Student Life (OSL) said the A.S. budget problem is a pressing issue, and that he thinks A.S. will try to pass another fee increase initiative during Winter Quarter.
“[The budget] is a systemic problem that needs to be solved by students taxing themselves in return for better services and better quality services,” Jenkins said.
Without an initiative, he said, the only other options for A.S. are to write grant proposals or find private donors.
Other on-campus groups said they are not very concerned by the initiative’s failure.
“It doesn’t matter, really,” said Indus Financial Chair Shamik Patel. “We don’t need A.S. support. When the initiative didn’t pass we weren’t upset. A couple people on our cabinet weren’t for it, so they were happy.”
College Republicans President Anthony Mascovich said the group was pleased with the outcome of the special election.
“On the whole we were opposed to [the initiative], so we were happy,” he said.
Mascovich also said College Republicans don’t feel a base fee increase is the best option for campus organizations.
“[We] feel lock-in fees are better because they directly say where the money is going,” he said. “Whereas, with a base fee, we’re just letting A.S. write the check.”
Alexandra Moffitt, president of Naked Voices, said she was more disappointed by the low voter turnout by the student body than with the failure of the initiative itself. She said the base fee is something that has the potential to affect all campus organizations. Moffitt said she found it very disappointing that people did not take the time to at least formulate an opinion and vote.