A.S. Council Places Loft on Spring Quarter Fee Ballot

The referendum requires that at least 29 percent of the fees go to financial aid, that at least 80 percent of all events at the Loft be “pay as you can” for UCSD students and that undergraduates represent at least 60 percent of the venue’s hiring staff.

During yesterday’s meeting, the council discussed two models of the referendum — one sponsored by A.S. Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and chair of the University Centers Advisory Board Jordan Taylor, and one sponsored by A.S. President Utsav Gupta.

The primary difference between the two proposals was the intensity of A.S. Council oversight.

Under Gupta’s proposal, the A.S. Council would create a student-majority Loft Governance Board to regulate the venue’s budget allocation. This board would include various members of the council — including VP Student Life, VP Finance and AVP Concerts and Events — as well as the Graduate Student Association president and UCAB chair.

In contrast, Taylor’s version allowed for the current UCAB governing board — composed of members of the six college councils, as well as administrators and alumni — to review the funds appropriated to the Loft.

Gupta said he was pushing for the maximum amount of student oversight, especially because UCAB is known for being under the administrative thumb.

“When you’re deciding where to place hundreds of thousands of student fees collected every quarter every year, you better put it in a place that can perform effective and real oversight,” he said. “I do not feel comfortable in placing these fees with the University Centers Advisory Board.”

Taylor said that UCAB was capable of regulating the Loft’s finances because members had experience dealing with student fees — as opposed to the as-of-yet nonexistent Loft Governance Board.

“UCAB is a fully functioning board, not a committee,” he said. “We control a $10 million budget, most of it in student fees.”

The UCAB model of the referendum passed by a vote of 16-11-3, due to concerns that the oversight provided by Gupta’s model was excessive.

Loft Director Martin Wollesen said the night’s debate was valuable, and praised the council’s decision to place the referendum on the ballot.

“There was comparable evidence — from attendance records to signatures to A.S.’s own surveys — that the students want to be able to vote,” Wollesen said. “I would have been disappointed if A.S. didn’t listen to the student voice.”

If passed, the fee would go into effect Fall Quarter 2010 and be charged every quarter until Spring Quarter 2014 — at which point it would terminate unless renewed by a majority A.S. Council vote.

Readers can contact Angela Chen at [email protected].

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