A.S. in favor of fee hike

    A resolution in support of the Student Initiated Athletic Fee, which would impose a fee of $28.25 per quarter on undergraduates, passed the A.S. Council unanimously last Wednesday.

    The measure will be voted upon by the undergraduate student body this week, Monday through Friday, as a part of the A.S. Council elections.

    The council has not, in the past, taken a side on issues such as referendums. A.S. President Jeff Dodge, who authored and introduced the resolution, said the council chose to take a stance this time because it agreed with the process of the development of the referendum.

    “”In the past, the A.S. [Council] hasn’t taken official stands on referendums because students have had problems with the process, amount and intent of referendums,”” Dodge said. “”This is something that students clearly care about and needs to pass.””

    Last year’s fee referendum to impose a fee of $71.40 per quarter failed.

    According to the resolution, the A.S. Council felt the process of creating that fee was disempowering and nonrepresentative of the student body.

    The athletics fee, if passed, will implement a fee of $28.25 per quarter. Some $26.70 of this the fee would go to support intercollegiate athletics, which is facing enormous cutbacks with the expiration of the temporary money that funded the transition to Division II athletics.

    The rest would be distributed to sports clubs and recreation clubs. The resolution encourages students to vote in support of the athletics fee.

    “”Be it further resolved, the A.S. Council encourages the student body to vote yes on this fee and by doing so, invest in the importance of athletics in creating school spirit and unity on the campus,”” the resolution states.

    Commissioner of Athletics Robin Shelton headed the task force that developed the referendum.

    “”The idea behind [the resolution] is that everyone will understand the importance and significance of the referendum,”” he said.

    Shelton emphasized that the process by which the referendum was developed is another reason to support it. He called that process “”student-organized.””

    Dodge agreed.

    “”I’m really supportive of this referendum because it’s one of the first times in my knowledge of UCSD history where students have truly initiated, organized and developed a referendum to provide additional support for the university,”” he said.

    Shelton said he believes the monetary support of athletics is necessary for the “”general campus good.””

    Currently, there is no organized campaign to defeat the referendum, and students are generally in favor of it.

    The resolution was submitted by Dodge and reviewed by Shelton and Vice President Internal Jenn Brown. It was passed through the internal committee and council unanimously, according to Dodge.

    “”The council passed the resolution unanimously, which means that every senator, looking out for the best interest of the student body, supports the athletics referendum,”” Dodge said. “”I think it’s great to have a council so supportive of this effort and I can only hope the student body supports this effort the same way.””

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