The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Leaders discuss rec center referendum

The University Student Union Board of Directors met Monday to discuss the upcoming referendum on the new recreation center and also to approve health and dental insurance for USU retirees.

The recreation center referendum is the second of two attempts. Alisa Langford, a graduate assistant of USU marketing and public relations, said that this time around, informing students has been the priority.

“In the 1999 referendum, students were not well-informed and the project was not well-researched, so that’s why we surveyed students, conducted focus groups and had the informational ads out so quickly,” she said. “So far we’ve gotten positive feedback.”

Voting on the recreation center referendum will be held April 17-18 along with A.S. and USU Board elections.

The board approved health and dental insurance for USU retirees.

“The USU is an auxiliary company supported by fees separate from tuition. They have to adhere to CSU policies, but their budget is separate,” Langford said when asked about the affirmative vote.

Although the CSU and its employees are bound by their contract, employees of A.S. or the USU are only affected by the board decisions regarding changes in budget policy.

As discussed in the meeting, the fiscal impact is still under review, but presently no USU employee qualifies until 2012. An employee who retires after Jan. 1, 2007 at age 65 with 10 years of qualifying service will continue to receive health and dental benefits. The younger an employee retires, the more years of service the employee will have had to accrue. The USU voted on the measure because it was out of compliance with CSU requirements.

A.S. President Adam Salgado spoke before the board to reiterate the California State Student Association’s assertion that the committee does not favor the California Faculty Association over the CSU. In a letter to the Daily Sundial, CSSA Chair Nadir Vissanjy responded to a March 13 article that stated the CSSA supported the CFA. Salgado relayed CSSA’s message that “we support all CSU employees as long as it does not raise student fees.”

The USU Board of Directors also approved the standardization of USU and SSU computer lab policies to provide access precedence to students with academic usage. Students will politely be asked to vacate their seat if another student needs to access the computer for academic purposes, said Alexander Gonzalez, CSU technology support services manager. The USU computer lab is the only one available to students that also offers 20 sheets of free paper per student each day.

“It gets really crowded in there with the free paper,” Langford said.

At the next meeting on April 23, the board of directors will nominate a student for the Aida C. Salazar award, which honors a student who brings diverse groups to the USU. They will also nominate a board or committee member for the Board of Directors’ Volunteer Achievement Award for upholding USU goals and outstanding achievement.

Two students, Jose Tejada and Musa Elmaghrabi, were elected Monday to serve in next year’s term as representatives of the USU’s Board of Directors.

Prior to casting their votes, board members commented on both candidates’ merits. Staff representative Daniel Monteleone cited Tejada’s military experience as a plus.

“He is very efficient,” he said.

Vice President of Student Affairs William Watkins, who worked with Elmaghrabi on the Finance Committee, said Elmaghrabi has done a phenomenal job.

“I’m impressed with the level of enthusiasm of both of the candidates,” said Director Judith Schmidt-Levy.

Executive Director Debra Hammond announced that USU’s Associate Director of Operations and Services was in a motorcycle accident Friday night. He sustained injuries to his knees and hips and has small fractures in his back. There will be a “very long recovery time for him,” said Hammond, who later passed a card around for everyone to sign.

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