Referendums

Fee Referendum 1 — No

Fee Referendum Question 1 seeks to increase the A.S. Activities Fee by $2 per quarter for each UCSD student to pay for membership in the United States Student Association and the University of California Student Association.

The Guardian editorial board does not endorse this increase in fees and strongly urges students to vote against it. This referendum basically provides A.S. members and future candidates better resources in terms of money, meetings and conferences to help fund their campaigns and trips to statewide and national conferences.

The disbursement of fees would break down as follows: 19 cents (approximately 10 percent) would stay on campus to help fund A.S. campaigns, 91 cents (approximately 45 percent) would go to membership fees to join the USSA and 90 cents (approximately 45 percent) would go to UCSD membership in UCSA. While this amount seems quite small, summing them together would would place the amount to over $30,000 that would be spent to gain membership into these two organization.

While the Guardian does not see a problem with joining UCSA, which is, as its name implies, associated with the UC system, there are a couple of reasons why the Guardian does not support this fee referendum.

The first is that it requires membership into the USSA, an outside organization and a lobbying group not affiliated with the UC system. UCLA had passed a referendum similar to this, and the chancellor also signed it, but was struck down by the UC Regents for exactly the same reason.

The UCSA lobbies to state and local representatives on issues that directly affect the UC system. On the other hand, the USSA lobbies the federal government, and does not have the University of California’s interests specifically in mind.

It is unfortunate and unwise that the sponsors of this referendum chose to include membership to both the USSA and UCSA in the same referendum.

The Guardian would wholeheartedly endorse a small fee increase to pay for membership in the UCSA, but the fact that this membership was linked to the USSA membership prevents us from supporting Fee Referendum Question 1.

Fee Referendum 2 — Yes

Fee Referendum Question 2 concerns raising the Student Activity Fee by $1 per quarter, effective Fall 2001, for the establishment of the Academic Success Program as an A.S. service.

The Guardian editorial board supports this small increase in fees, as it would tremendously help the student body at UCSD, especially in retaining financially disadvantaged students.

The ASP provides many services to the general student body. The programs include a peer mentorship program, a peer tutoring program, an exam archive and a booklending program.

The most significant service would be the booklending program, by which financially strapped students with financial aid — but still not enough to buy books — can borrow books at the beginning at the quarter. The students can then return the books at the end of the quarter, all free of charge.

While the ASP is already providing some of these services, this referendum makes this program a service of the A.S. Council. This means that the council can directly fund the program rather than having to divert funds from other programs, such as club funding and sports. This referendum would keep the ASP program adequately funded while not depriving other programs of their own funds.

Not all students would sympathize with the programs provided by the ASP because not everyone can partake in of its programs, such as the booklending program. However, the direct funding — which would result in more funds overall — would allow ASP to reach out to more students over time, making it more inclusive.

The Guardian thinks the ASP is important to students as it provides many peer-to-peer services not offered elsewhere. We feel it is important these programs expand. By making the ASP a service of the A.S., the program can have more funding and be more effective in its goals.

One dollar per quarter is a very small price to pay for these services that could prove to be very effective retention tools.

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