A.S. Council Condemns UC Tax Initiative

    The Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs will be responsible for collecting $1.375 million of the proposed $43 million UCSD owes UCOP. According to A.S. President Meggie Le, the VCSA plans to charge all Student Affairs units, including collecting a small percentage from campus-based referenda income, in order to pay the $1.375 million. 

    The Funding Streams Initiative, which the UC Board of Regents passed in July 2011 in response to reduced funding from the state, imposes a 1.69 percent flat tax on all UC campuses.  
    According to former Vice President of External Affairs Samer Naji, money for referenda are specifically allocated for its entailed projects. 

    “The problem is that when the referendum was passed by students, the language is very specific,” Naji said. “Nowhere did it say that this money could be used to fund UCOP activities —  that’s what makes this tax completely illegal; the referenda language does not allow that money to be reallocated to UCOP.”

    According to A.S. President Meggie Le, language of future referenda could be used to provide special provisions for the tax, but A.S. Council is largely against using student referenda for these means. 

    “We’re in the stage where we’re still fighting so that it will not affect the referenda,” Le said in an email. “The last thing we would want to see would be a situation like UCSB’s, where student org funding needs to be frozen.”

    The resolution states that the VCSA’s use of campus-specific referenda funds to support its system-wide services is a violation of University of California Policies Applying Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, section 80.10. The code states that the campus-based student fees can only be used to fund student-related services and programs, construction and renovation of student buildings, authorized student governments, student organizations and their corresponding events. 

    The resolution calls the use of UCSD student funds outside of campus a “gross abuse of power.”

    “It’s unacceptable because they’re passing this burden on to students,” Naji said. “In my opinion that’s an indirect tuition increase.”

    According to the resolution, A.S. Council and GSA will take legal action if any campus-based referenda funds are used for means other than those agreed upon by the university administration, UCOP and a vote by the UCSD student body. A.S. Council and GSA will present the resolution to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue and Chancellor Marye Anne Fox this week. 

    “We need to push the state for more funding,” Naji said. “UCOP is desperate for funding because they’re going after student life. We need more funding — if it doesn’t come, it’s going to be students who are going to be feeling it over and over again.”

    Le said A.S. Council plans to inform students about the possible effects of the tax with online and in-person campaigns, through possible collaboration with student orgs and college councils. Le said she hopes to get students to sign a petition against UCOP going after student fees.

    “It’s A.S.’ job to protect students’ rights and to advocate on behalf of students,” Le said. “A.S. will continue to fight against this gross misuse of student fees and ensure that student fees will continue to directly improve students.”

    Prior to the flat tax, UCOP would take a portion of the mandatory system-wide tuition fee and the Student Services Fee, accounting to a six percent share to help fund its system-wide administrative services. The fees would then be redistributed throughout the UC system.


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