Higher Associated Student fees proposed

Samantha Womack

The Associated Students met Sept.12 following the inauguration of 17 new A.S. senators to discuss the proposal for fee increases to be included in November’s ballot.

Being proposed is a one-time $15 increase to the $72 spring semester A.S. fee. Also potentially on the ballot would be an initial $15 increase to the Instructionally Related Activities followed by an annual $5 increase over the next six years, beginning in Fall 2007.

“This is a big jump proportionately, but not compared to the overall tuition,” said A.S. General Manager David Crandall. “We can meet our current baseline need with this plan.”

Next week the senators will be asked by the finance committee to vote on whether or not the A.S. and I.R.A. fee referendums will be put to the students for a vote.

“This is a big deal. Talk to your constituents about this,” Crandall told them.

The I.R.A. student fees, which have not been increased since 1979, are designated to support college programs like Chicano/a studies, the forensics society, the Daily Sundial, KCSN news, and intercollegiate athletics. Generally, it is used to “supplement the fundamental mission of the university,” according to the most recent draft of the voter’s pamphlet.

The A.S. fee increase will supplement the current budget and be allocated to intercollegiate athletic scholarships, the A.S. children’s center, funding for student research, and to student productions, campus entertainment and the improvement of other A.S. programs.

Next week’s meeting will include the finalized ballot procedure manual and the calendar for fall 2006 elections.

The A.S. committees are getting started and most have confirmed days and times for meetings. The first judicial court meeting is Sept. 22 from 2 to 4 p.m.

A.S. President Adam Salgado said he wants to begin work on a Web site for students to trade and exchange textbooks for free.