The upcoming Associated Students Spring Election ballot will feature a new Career Services measure that seeks a quarterly fee of $5.55 per student.
Between unprecedented budget cuts during the last two years and proposed cuts for the upcoming year, Career Services anticipates losing roughly 50 percent of its current registration fee funding. According to Career Services Director Micael Kemp, the department has thus far maintained its services by cutting costs, tapping into unspent money and charging employers for services rendered.
However, Kemp said the facility would be forced to eliminate 25 percent of its services for next year if the fee is not approved.
“There’s no way that we can sustain the current level of service and take a 50 percent cut to our budget,” Kemp said. “So we’re asking students if they can help us out, so that we can retain the level of service that they’ve come to expect from us.”
Currently, students provide Career Services with $3.16 per quarter. If this fee passes, the total will raise to $8.71.
Should the measure pass, the majority of the money — $4.12 of the $5.55 — would go to Career Services, $1.39 to return-to-aid and $0.04 for an administrative fee. Kemp said roughly 75 percent of the funding would be applied towards counselor salaries, while the remaining 25 percent would go towards keeping electronic resources such as GauchoLink operational.
“[The funding] would enable us to keep a number of career counselors available that we have now — the ones who run all the programs, staff the job fairs, do the workshops and counsel the students,” he said.
To be regarded as valid, a student voter turnout of at least 20 percent is mandatory for the election, which will be held from April 19 to 22. For this fee, if the election has a 20 percent voter turnout, at least two-thirds of voters must approve the fee in order for it to pass. However, if there is a 27.73 percent or higher turnout of graduate and undergraduate students, only a 50 percent plus one voter result is required for the measure to be ratified.
Sean Kersten, a third-year accounting major, said he relies on the department’s services to help prepare for life after college.
“I feel I’ve benefited a lot from the services provided and would be willing to pay the fee,” Kersten said. “[The $5.55] isn’t even that big for the services provided.”