Students Approve Fees For MCC, CAPS, Other Organizations; OSL Lock-in Narrowly Fails to Pass

Students voted to pass almost all fee reaffirmations and new fee initiatives processed by the Campus Elections Commission, with the exception of a $7.13 increase to the Office of Student Life’s existing $2.20 lock-in fee.

About 8,000 students, or 37 percent of the undergraduate population, came out to vote for the lock-in fees which are administered by the Campus Election Commission. The fees are for university-based organizations outside of Associated Students, but they run on the same ballot as A.S. fees. Among the new initiatives fees, the MultiCultural Center and Counseling & Psychological Services gained fee increases of $6.77 and $21.39, respectively, while UCSB Arts & Lectures earned a new $5.68 fee to go toward development of an app and other general improvements. The reaffirmations were each passed by a wide margin, and included support fees for CLAS, the University Center, the MCC, CAPS, the Community Affairs Board, Recreational Sports, Career Services and the Green Initiative Fund.

Associate Dean of Students Katya Armistead said she was disappointed with students’ decision to vote against the OSL fee, which narrowly failed by less than three percent. According to Armistead, “dwindling support” from state funds and growing demands on OSL services made the organization seek out a higher lock-in fee. She said the office plans to propose the fee increase again next year, as it offers a large number of student services that sometimes gain little recognition.

“Any student who is a member of any of the 450 registered campus organizations (RCO) or who has simply attended an event hosted by an RCO has interacted with the Office of Student Life and would benefit directly from an increase to the OSL fee,” she said in an email.

Armistead said the OSL plans to increase campaigning efforts next year, saying an inadequate amount of money allocated to promoting the initiative and the limited visibility of the office, among other factors, contributed to the fee’s failure to pass.

“There are many possible reasons why the fee increase was not approved, and we believe that there is no single reason behind our failed fee increase,” Armistead said in an email. “While our professional and student staff members put in a phenomenal effort during a very busy quarter, we recognize that the campaign outcome is a direct result of our campaign strategy … This is a major “lesson learned” for our department.”

Promoting the Arts & Lectures lock-in fee earlier in the quarter, A&L Programming Manager Heather Silva said the approved fee would help contribute to lower ticket prices, an app that would allow students to purchase tickets on mobile devices and general program improvements.

“We serve both campus and community members, so it’s our mission to provide events that are diverse enough that we appeal to a wide variety of people in Santa Barbara proper,” Silva said. “For our campus events, we also try to make sure that we have events quarterly that really appeal to students.”


A version of this story appeared on page 1 of Wednesday, April 30, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.