Associated Students executive officers and a few other organizers are finalizing the cost and structure of the Student’s Initiative lock-in fee increase, slated to be on a special election ballot this fall.
The dollar amount of the initiative has yet to be decided, but if approved, the lump sum would be allocated to a number of student services on campus. The complete list of campus organizations that would benefit from the initiative has also not yet been finalized, but A.S. Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said A.S. would receive some of the money.
Daves-Rougeaux said A.S. has provided on-campus student services, including Student Health, with needs assessment forms to ascertain which groups will participate in the initiative. Daves-Rougeaux said he is currently unsure how many groups will participate, as he is not in charge of collecting the data.
After the forms are returned, a coordinating committee will evaluate each group’s funding request. The forms were due at 9 a.m.
“[We will] look at the total amount and the coordinating committee will decide if it’s a fee level the students would be willing to support,” Daves-Rougeaux said. “If not, each institute would be asked to reassess their fee request and decrease it by either a percentage amount or an exact amount.”
He said the initiative requires a 20 percent voter turnout rate and must pass by a simple majority, which is 50 percent plus one.
Daves-Rougeaux said the planning committee has considered alternative methods and has based the Student’s Initiative on the models found at other schools.
UC Davis passed a similar lump-sum initiative two years ago and is still being funded in that manner, Daves-Rougeaux said.
“I think the folks involved in the planning process of this event have looked at different models around the system to see how different schools have responded,” Daves-Rougeaux said. “I think it speaks to the spirit of individuals recognizing the collective good and then being willing to support that.”
Educational Opportunity Program Office Manager Nellie Guerrero did not disclose if EOP supports the initiative. However, she said the department typically identifies with student interests.
“If it’s the right thing then we’ll assist students in whatever they’re fighting for,” Guerrero said. “[We] haven’t heard much about [the student’s initiative] but usually the department tries to support as much as they can.”
Elizabeth Downing, director of Student Health, said the list of participating organizations will be available today.
“We have to have the forms filled out by 9 a.m. [today],” Downing said. “By tomorrow, A.S. will know which departments will go out for an increase.”
Although Career Services was not invited to take part in the initiative, Director Micael Kemp said it would make voting more efficient for students.
“We are not a part of the initiative,” Kemp said. “I think it’s great that [the departments] are all clumped together because students don’t have to vote one by one.”
A.S. President Jared Goldschen said A.S. will continue working on the initiative this weekend.
“Information about the campaign will be available on Monday and we are using this weekend to finalize the details,” Goldschen said.
A number of student services were contacted, including CLAS, the Disabled Students Program, Arts & Lectures, the Office of Student Life and the MultiCultural Center. Representatives from these departments were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.
A.S. entities and its administration currently receive $9.10 per student, per quarter, a fee that has not been increased since 1972.
Daves-Rougeaux said Associated Students has been trying for a long time to secure a lock-in fee increase.
“I think the issue of increasing the A.S fee has been around for at least as long as I have been here,” Daves-Rougeaux said.