Council Returns, Declares War on $2.24 UCSA Fee

Council Returns, Declares War on $2.24 UCSA Fee

We’re only a few days into winter quarter, and the harshest reality of being back at school is already upon me: council’s squabbling, inevitable indecisiveness and a gratifyingly short meeting.

Last night’s meeting began with an introduction to new IFC representative Dalton DeFendis and new Panhellenic Representative Sydney. I felt bad about missing Sydney’s last name until roll call, when council made it clear it was in the same boat as I and addressed the newcomers by first name only. DeFendis got his inaugural A.S. Council awkward moment over with right away when his unsilenced phone gave everyone a taste of the YouTube video he was watching mid-meeting.

The first mildly amusing objection of the night came over a “controversial” single-cent allocation to KSDT radio. This, however, was passed quickly, and the radio station will receive its allotted 66 cents in funding per student each quarter.

The awaited contention of the night came when discussing yearly dues to the UC Student Association. According to VP External Affairs Vanessa Garcia, UCSD originally passed a referendum agreeing to pay the $1-per-student per-year minimum for membership to UCSA.

However, the UCSA fee minimum was later adjusted to $1.30 per student, lower than past years, when UCSD paid $2.24 per student. For the upcoming year, UCSD chose to pay the minimum of $1.30. UCSA, which expected UCSD to pay the additional $20,000 it paid in previous years with the higher per-student fee, was forced to use reserve funds to make up for the shortfall. Now, UCSA is pressuring UCSD to disburse the higher amount it paid previously.

Social Sciences Senator Colin King eloquently made the personal attack of the evening to Garcia. “I know you mentioned you’re in a difficult position, but I think it’s important when you go into those meeting that you maintain the interest of the UCSD student body,” King said. “because they’re the ones that got you into those meetings.”
AVP Student Advocacy Alex Noronha suggested that UCSA increase the minimum fee requirement to $1.35 for all UC campuses, so that “all campuses shoulder the burden, rather than just UCSD.”

“The students voted on $1 per student per year, and it’s already bumped up to $1.30,” King said. “I think they should expect $1 and count anything above that as a blessing.”
Garcia then made a logical suggestion in response to the debate over what was deemed an unfair request by UCSA.

“If you all disagree with this, then fail it,” Garcia said. “If you don’t want this, then don’t vote yes on it, and I’ll bring it back to UCSA.”

Alas, after an hour of sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering whether I would end up paying an additional, hard-earned 94 cents to UCSA, the decision was tabled to next week.

Less than two hours after entering the Forum, I got to leave, counting my own blessings. Props to council for efficiency, and welcome back from break!

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