Take Heed, Warren Voters: Old Fees Should Die Hard

    Three years after the approval of its first activity fee, Earl Warren
    is out again with
    its hat in hand, asking students to front supposed funding deficiencies. In
    2004, a college referendum virtually tripled the amount of money available to
    the Warren College Student Council. This year, the council would reap an
    additional $26,000 if students approve the fee hike.

    The money will be targeted mainly for programming use, Warren College
    Parliamentarian Dan Palay says, which includes Warren Live! and its events
    board. At $14,400, the latter gobbles up the largest chunk of the college’s
    budget. Inflation is Palay’s explanation for the referendum; 2004’s
    $4-per-quarter charge has apparently grown stale in three years, so it’s back
    to students to carry the fiscal weight. It’s doubtful that an extra $3 per
    quarter is financially unbearable for any student, but it’s also doubtful that
    three years of inflation have completely depleted the college’s funds.
    Construction and gas costs are the most vulnerable to inflation, not concerts.
    The regular rate of inflation is at most a 3- to 4-percent increase each year,
    not the over 50-percent increase that the referendum would entail.

    Another of Palay’s cited reasons: Warren currently charges the lowest
    per-student activity fee of UCSD’s six colleges. However, the college also
    boasts the campus’ largest enrollment figures. It’s the principle that matters
    most here: What other avenues of budget tightening have been explored? What
    extra fat could have been sliced off before asking students to shoulder another
    fee hike?

    It’s a shame that WCSC was too myopic in vision to expect these financial
    problems and settle them three years ago with the original referendum.

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