The Associated Students Bike Shop still has a chance to cruise its renovation lock-in fee proposal onto the spring ballot, despite its shortage of signatures on a required petition.
Originally, bike shop employees and A.S. members attempted to put a $6 per undergraduate student per quarter — including summer Summer Session — three-year lock-in fee proposal in the spring campus-wide election by obtaining signatures from 15 percent of undergraduate students on a petition. Though petitioners failed to get the necessary number of signers, their proposal still has a chance if A.S. Legislative Council decides to put it on the ballot by the first week of Spring Quarter, A.S. Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said.
If the proposal is included in the elections, held April 24-27, students will decide whether the bike shop receives additional money for renovations.
Currently, the shop receives $0.75 per undergraduate student per quarter and $0.50 per undergraduate during Summer Sessions. Daves-Rougeaux said the current lock-in fee, which acts as a subsidy for the bike shop, will not be affected by the passage or failure of the proposed initiative.
“We’re not a for-profit business — that’s why we’re supported by student fees, because employment costs are to teach people how to repair their bikes, not to take their money,” said Greg Takayama, manager of the bike shop.
Money garnered from the requested $6 lock-in fee would cover the costs of replacing the converted WWII-era cargo containers that currently house the bike shop. The lock-in would also go toward upgrading the current electrical and plumbing infrastructure, as well as the implementation of a restroom for employees and customers.
A surcharge of $2 from the lock-in fee will go toward the Return to Aid program which pays for financial aid recipients’ campus-based fees.
Takayama said the replacement structures, although they would be only temporary, are necessary because the current bike shop is so dilapidated. He said he hopes that UCSB will include plans for the eventual construction of a permanent shop in its campus building Master Plan.
Takayama said UCSB might soon offer a class in which students can design a permanent bike shop, but for now he is focusing his efforts on the fee initiative as the best solution to the shop’s problems.
“[The shop is] outdated and there are no restrooms on site,” Takayama said. “The facilities aren’t up to par with what a bike shop should be, especially serving UCSB campus because there are so many bikes. The floors are rotting and they had Facilities Management come in and put plywood over the rotting floor.”
Brendan Blackwood, A.S. Bicycle Improvements Keep Everyone Safe (A.S. BIKES) student coordinator and third-year engineering major, said he hopes that some renovation will be possible – even if just temporarily — to accommodate more bikes and improve services.
“It’ll be nice because the cargo containers leak when it rains, and there’s only one sink with running water,” Blackwood said.
A.S. President Chaz Whatley said Associated Students Legislative Council will likely approve the initiative and place it on the ballot.
“I definitely think [it] will go through A.S. because it’s a much-needed fee,” Whatley said. “Our A.S. Bike Shop is in shambles right now, and if they don’t [approve the initiative], they will have to wait until next year — and I don’t think that’s an option.” If placed on the A.S. ballot, the initiative will need the approval of 66 percent of student voters to pass. Campus-wide ballots only need a 50 percent-plus-one approval.
“It’s really hard to get students to come out and vote in the first place, and even if the bike measure passes by 66 percent in A.S. elections, if 20 percent of students don’t vote, then it invalidates the elections and we have to have a new election,” Whatley said.