In order for this week’s special election for the Students’ Initiative to count, 1,133 more students need to vote today by 4 p.m.
As of yesterday at 4 p.m., only about 14 percent of the necessary 20 percent of the student body had voted in the election on GOLD since Monday. The initiative asks for a $100 per student per quarter fee increase, split among 29 student services on campus, with an additional $33 return-to-aid surcharge.
According to the Associated Students’ Legal Code, if the minimum turnout of 20 percent is reached, the initiative only needs a simply majority, or 50 percent plus one, to pass.
Of the 29 organizations included in the initiative, 18 are A.S. entities and 11 are independent on-campus organizations. Associated Students would receive a $30 base fee increase if the initiative passes, Recreational Sports will receive $11 and Student Health will get $9.
Other services that would receive funding include the UCen Governance Board and Campus Learning Assistance Services. The complete fee breakdown and needs assessment forms for each organization are available on the Associated Students website.
UCSB students currently pay $868.92 per year in campus-based fees, the second most in the UC system.
Jared Goldschen, A.S. president, has been campaigning in a pink shirt all week along with the other supporters. He said supporters encouraged more students to vote Wednesday night.
“There [was] a big push [Wednesday] to get people to vote,” Goldschen said. “There was a rally at the Rec Cen, an announcement at the soccer game, massive amounts of e-mails out, phone banking and we went door-to-door.”
A.S. has posted the updated voting count each day on its website at 4 p.m. On Monday, Goldschen said about 900 students had voted, while the number increased to 1,900 on Tuesday. By yesterday, 2,509 students had voted. Final election results should be available online after voting ends today between 4:30 and 5 p.m.
Supporters of the Students’ Initiative say the bundled approach to the fee increase places the responsibility of maintaining the programs of UCSB student services on all students, not just those that use the services.
“The initiative will provide many services that students use,” Goldschen said. “Even if you personally don’t use all the services, the initiative is making the resources available to the students who do.”
Dissenters, such as those in the “Vote No” group on Facebook.com, disapprove of the bundled initiative because it does not give students the chance to vote on individual groups. In the past, campus-based fee increases have been passed on a case-by-case basis, allowing students to pick which groups they think deserve more money.
They also say the amount, roughly $400 extra in student fees per year, is unwarranted and that it should not be the students’ responsibility to pay for some of the items listed as part of the initiative.