The results of the Campus Elections Commission’s 2013 fee
initiatives were released yesterday, wrapping this year’s election
season with a unanimous passage of all presented fees. Students
voted to increase the undergraduate and graduate quarterly fees for
next year by $26.05 and $11.05 respectively, with additional funds
going to Women, Gender, and Sexual Equity, Recreation Center and
Health & Wellness. This additional money is intended to
benefit the students and community by increasing services that are
available, remodeling facilities to be safer and more up-to-date
and sustaining current staff and programs. The enhancement project
for the Recreation Center, or “Flip the Switch for Student
Recreation,” includes the only fee that is only for undergraduates
and was passed with a $15.00 fee per undergraduate per quarter. It
will allow for the repairing, renovation and restoration of
Robertson Gymnasium, Pauley Track and Storke Field. The fee will
continue for 10 years without reaffirmation, and then it will be
converted into a $2.00 maintenance fee. RecCen Sport Club Student
Director Justin Bargar, third-year political science major, said
renovation fees will implement leakage repair and cosmetic
enhancements — including new paint and refinished floors, windows
and doors. The track will be completely replaced, and two turf
fields will be added to Storke Field while light installations will
be added to both locations. According to Bargar, the new fee will
enhance campus athletics facilities for future generations,
benefiting students for years to come. “By passing this, us as
students were able to leave a legacy just as students have in the
past when they passed the RecCen initiative and RecCen II
initiative,” Bargar said. “This opens up an opportunity for
students in the future and all throughout their college
experience.” According to Bargar, infrastructure improvements will
be beneficial for various sports clubs and sports teams, as well as
for other student groups looking to use the facilities. “Other
groups like ROTC use the track on a daily basis, and E.S. classes
take place in Rob Gym,” Bargar said. “There are a plethora of
student groups that use these facilities.” The WGSE fee increase of
$3.92, which brings the total quarterly WGSE fee to $8.17 for
undergraduate and graduate students, was approved and will be up
for reaffirmation in spring 2017. Additional funding will be used
to maintain and improve staff, programs and public spaces. WGSE
provides services for individuals in crisis, offers supports to the
LGBTQ community and additionally benefits the Campus Advocacy,
Resources and Education program. With an approved quarterly fee of
$7.13 for undergraduate and graduate students, Health &
Wellness will continue to provide services used by over 90 percent
of UCSB students. The funding will allow the program to continue
offering the campus community with programs like HIV Testing, Love
Your Body Day and weekly massages. Health & Wellness
Marketing Director Alisa Ovsepyan, fourth-year psychology major,
said the lock-in fee’s approval will ensure that Health &
Wellness can continue current projects and hold onto all staff
members. “The fee is important just to continue our services that
we’ve been able to provide but to also keep our staff. Because of
the current budget, they could have been laid off if we did not get
enough funding,” Ovsepyan said.     A version of
this article appeared on page 1 of the Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
print edition of the Nexus.