UCSB’s University Children’s Center is asking for the reaffirmation of two separate lock-in fees totaling to $8.50 per undergraduate student per quarter in the upcoming Spring Election.
The two fees — a Campus Elections Commission sup- port fee and an Associated Students Child Care support fee — generate approximately $590,000 annually and account for 18 to 19 percent of the Children Center’s total budget. If approved, the measures will provide continued subsidies so UCSB-affiliated low-income families pay reduced child care tuition costs to enroll their children at the Orfalea Family Children’s Center, located on West Campus, and the Student Resource Building’s University Children’s Center.
According to UCSB Children’s Center Director Leslie Voss, faculty and staff families account for about 50 percent of enrollees while the children of UCSB students comprise another 45 percent of the Children Center’s students. Low- income families pay almost 40 percent less to use child care services than those not qualified.
The fees — $3 per undergraduate student per quarter for the CEC referendum and $5.50 per quarter ($4.50 during summer) from undergraduate students ($3 per quarter and $2 during summer for graduate students) for the A.S. referen- dum — also support the operations of the campus children’s centers. Additionally, the lock-in fees partially fund student employee salaries. If approved, both measures would be up for reaffirmation again in 2015.
Voss said it is important for students — whether they have children of their own — to support the Children’s Center in order to promote campus diversity.
“UCSB is committed to serving a diverse student population, which includes [addressing] economic diver- sity and nontraditional students,” Voss said. “[The fees] subsidize student rates [for child care] which allow low- income students with young children to access high qual- ity child care while staying in school.”
Sophie Hassett, a second-year theater and feminist studies major, said her experience working at the Children’s Center allowed her to mature as a person.
“This has affected my view of the world, keeping me grounded and making me more conscious and caring in my interactions with people,” Hassett said. “Every day I work there I learn something new about myself and about these tiny humans.”
A minimum 20 percent voter turnout is required for the election to be considered valid. A reaffirmation fails if 60 percent plus one voter turn down the measure.
Students can vote on GOLD from April 18 to April 21.