Students Put Plans for New Fee on Hold

About two dozen students met Friday afternoon to discuss ways to approach the creation of another student life fee referendum, which they hope to put to a vote next April.

Members of the A.S. Council, representatives from the college councils, student organizations, clubs and concerned students decided to put the creation of a committee to draft the referendum on hold until at least next fall.

Specifics of the referendum were only touched upon as the meeting focused on how to achieve greater student involvement in the process and how to structure the future committee.

“”Our goal is for us to come up with a structure for another group of people,”” said Liz Erwin, Muir College Council chair.

That goal will also have to be put on hold until next fall at the earliest, as the group is still in the preliminary planning stages.

“”I was thinking we were going to set up a group that would then set up an info session,”” said A.S. President Jeff Dodge.

“”Right now I feel we are just in the philosophy stage,”” he said. “”Honestly, I feel disempowered with this group.””

Many of those in attendance said they were reluctant to go further due to what they said was a lack of representation of the student body and a lack of leadership.

“”I don’t think this is a representative enough group to make some sort of presentation to the UCSD community as a whole,”” said a student in attendance.

According to Kris Bohling of the Graduate Student Organization, anything decided Friday would likely be changed in the future as more people saw the proposal.

Because the meeting was formed by and for students, and not by a group seeking a specific agenda, no one group had control over the course of the meeting.

“”Until someone takes the reigns of direction, we can’t go anywhere, and we can’t expect other groups come to us,”” said student Doug Hanes. “”Someone needs to take control.””

Because a neutral chairperson is unlikely to be found, the possibility of a rotating facilitator for each meeting seemed to be favored over a chair, but participants discussed logistical problems.

Dodge said that he would support the committee as much as possible, but he would not be its sole leader.

Time is of the essence to get a committee formed and to get to work before the issues of the recent election are forgotten by the student body.

“”We need to tap the resources while they are fresh in people’s minds,”” said A.S. Vice President Internal Jenn Brown.

To get a passable referendum on the ballot next April, a lot of work is needed to develop the actual referendum and a successful strategy to sell it to students.

Organizers are challenged with appeasing not only organizations that may receive money, but also the student body, which ultimately must approve it.

The last meeting of the year is planned for 10th week, with another during the beginning of fall quarter.

The dates, times and places of the meetings have not been set as of yet.

Work on the referendum will continue over the summer, with acceleration in the fall.

Information sessions are likely to be held.

Students and interested parties are encouraged to contact [email protected] for more information.

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