Task Force Proposes $8-Per-Quarter Student-Fee Referendum to Save CLICS Library

Students could be charged an $8 quarterly fee if a referendum to save the Center for Library and Instructional Computing Services — known by most as CLICS — is put on the Spring 2012 A.S. Elections ballot.

Muir College Council Chair Jessie Rosales is heading a task-force committee with representatives from the six college councils and members of A.S. Council to examine the feasibility of saving CLICS, or maintaining it as a study space for students.  About 15 people from various college councils and A.S. Council have expressed interest in the task-force committee, Rosales said.

According to Rosales, the annual budget to sustain CLICS — including its ACMS computer lab — is approximately $600,000. Rosales believes this revenue can be created with a new, $8-per-quarter student fee. If A.S. Council approves Rosales’ proposal, it will be placed on the Spring 2012 A.S. Elections ballot. If passed, it would go into place — and CLICS would reopen — during the 2012-13 academic year.

Currently, CLICS is scheduled to close after finals in June 2011.

Rosales said the task-force committee plans to submit a CLICS proposal — which will cover maintenance, security, rental and budgeting factors — to the Department of Academic Affairs by the end of the summer. According to Rosales, the Academic Affairs Department already has four proposals to use CLICS for office spaces.

“The referendum is my idea right now,” Rosales said. “The point of the task force is to come up with other ideas.”

Rosales explained that alternatives to the referendum are being considered. One option is to turn the library into a student-run study space, similar to a co-op. He said that operating CLICS without the ACMS computers costs $370,000 annually.

“I want to make sure the administration knows that [the issue is] not dead,” he said. “Students are still really concerned about this issue. It seems that the administration is taking the students’ voices for granted.”

According to Rosales, Acting Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Planning and Resources David Miller said it is doubtful the administration would consider a student fee proposal.

“I consider it as a slap in the face because it’s just shutting down the student voice,” Rosales said. “We really want this force to be known so that [it] pressures the administration and tells them they shouldn’t be the ones making the sole decisions.”

Current library committee undergraduate representative and former A.S. Campuswide Senator Anish Bhayani said he doubts the administration would approve such a referendum.

“The administration won’t just hand it to the students just because they have the money to support it,” Bhayani said. “The percentage of students who use CLICS does not suffice a full referendum.”

Bhayani said he is concerned the referendum would require A.S. to deal with issues they are not prepared to address such as legal issues, worker training, workers’ compensation, benefits among other areas of managing a business.

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