Next week’s spring election ballot will include eight reaffirmations that propose the continuation of various previously approved student lock-in fees.
Students can vote on all initiatives and candidates by logging onto GOLD from April 19 to 22. Today’s issue features information on four of the reaffirmations — see tomorrow’s paper for coverage on the remaining four fees.
University Center Support Fee
At $9 per undergraduate student per quarter, the UCen Support Fee was first approved by the student body in 1998 and has been reaffirmed twice before. This lock-in fee will help fund maintenance, custodial services and utility fees.
UCen Director Alan Kirby said when the UCen was remodeled in 1998 there was no operating support money provided in the renovation for added new utilities.
“We had to hope that there would be sufficient funds to pay for all the utilities, the maintenance, the custodial care: the areas that don’t make any money,” Kirby said. “Now, our income in the UCen has dropped quite a bit with the economy and the fee has become an absolutely critical part of our income base.”
Without the fee, Kirby said the UCen would be forced to increase prices, limit operating hours and employ fewer students. The UCen also receives funding from various other student lock-in fees.
Intercollegiate Athletic Scholarships Fee
Also $9 per quarter — excluding summer — the initiative funds existing NCAA athletic scholarships for UCSB student athletes. Only undergraduates will be able to vote on this fee, which was first established in 2002. Athletic scholarships are administered by the Athletics Dept. and distributed by the intercollegiate athletic director with the consultation of the Student Athletic Advisory Board.
Representatives from ICA did not return calls for comment.
Recreational Sports Fee
Both undergraduates and graduates are able to vote on the $7 per quarter — excluding summer — fee. This lock-in fee was originally approved by students in 1997 to fund intramurals, club sports and adventure programs.
Although the fee may seem steep, Recreational Sports Assistant Director Paul Lee said the budget will be filtered back into the student body in the form of wages, since the majority of recreational sports employees are students.
“At one time in the history of the university, we were fully funded by the campus,” Lee said. “But any time there are budget cuts, the first things they think about are what they consider ‘non-core’ programs: sports, the arts, music. However, to the student body, these are really important programs that help them achieve the goals of fun, fitness, friendship, relaxation and stress-release, where anyone can participate and the only prerequisite is interest rather than skill.”
Rec Sports also receives $11 from a lock-in fee that is not on the ballot this year. Additionally, students pay a $5 quarterly intramural sports lock-in fee.
The Green Initiative Fund
Introduced in 2006, the fund helps finance projects that reduce the university’s impact on the environment. The fee, assessed at $3.47 per quarter, will be voted on by both undergraduates and graduates. For this fee, $2.60 goes to TGIF and $.97 returns to aid.
Jill Richardson, sustainability coordinator and TGIF grants manager, said the fee helps fund sustainability projects on campus that not only offset energy, water and waste costs, but also provide students with opportunities for internships and committee positions.
“It’s really a small amount of money that we ask for and it actually has a huge impact on the campus,” Richardson said. “Also, if it were to not be reaffirmed, UCSB wouldn’t be able to continue pushing forward in the area of sustainability as much as it has been. … Without this fund, it would be really hard to keep UCSB as green as it is now.”
How Reaffirmations Work
Campuswide fee reaffirmations appear on the ballot every four years and are filed through the Campus Elections Commission, which consists of students, faculty and staff who advise the chancellor on matters concerning campuswide elections. Reaffirmations fail if 60 percent plus one of the voters vote “no.” The fees falling under CEC protocol this year are the University Center Support Fee, the Intercollegiate Athletic Scholarships Fee, the Recreational Sports Fee, The Green Initiative Fund, the MultiCultural Center Support Fee and the Associated Students Community Affairs Board Volunteer Support Fee.
A.S. reaffirmations are filed through the A.S. Elections Committee and appear on the ballot every two years. As with CEC fees, these lock-ins — which this year include the Educational Opportunity Program Fee and Undergraduate Night and Weekend Parking — can only be canceled with 60 percent opposing the fee.