Vote against increase in A.S. and IRA student fees



Say “no” to increases in student fees.

This is our chance to stop the rising tide of fees we have to pay to attend college.

Today and tomorrow, if we vote no (at in the Associated Students referendum, we can stop a dramatic increase in fees we have to pay on top of our normal school fees.

If the referendum is approved, our A.S. and Instructionally Related Activities fees will not only increase for us but for future students, who will probably be paying a lot more for tuition than we do.

If we do not vote down this fee increase, your A.S. and IRA fees will rise every year to eventually reach $294 a year.

We do not believe that we will be getting our money’s worth. In fact, though we have investigated the stated reasons for the fee increase, we do not believe students have been given enough of a reason to support these referendums.

The present $72 AS fee would be raised $15 for Spring 2007 to $87, and would be used to support programs such as student scholarships, the children’s center, Big Show and the improvement of existing programs.

The IRA fee is $15 now and, if approved, would rise $5 every semester until it reaches $50 a semester in Fall 2011. Half of IRA fees pay for things like the jazz band, the symphony, Model United Nations, and yes, the Daily Sundial (we get $10,000 a year). The other half goes to athletics.

Questions that must be asked: Can CSUN students afford this and do we get our money’s worth?

Can you afford $294 on top of already increasing fees?

We believe this increase is too much for many present and future students.

Let’s look at how much money A.S. gets now and what they do with it, using the 2004 A.S. tax records.

Your money funds a multi-million dollar concern – A.S. received more than $5.8 million between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005, according to tax documents. Most of this money comes out of your pocket. $4,272,545, to be exact.

Where did the money go? According to tax documents, A.S. had $3,588,867 in savings and cash investments in June of 2005. This does not include the buildings and land it owns – that is worth $3,335,997. A large part of this is a “rainy day” fund. It seems A.S. is ready for the second flood.

A.S. had $195,219 in cash on June 30, 2005, according to tax records.

Of that amount, tens of thousands went to pay your elected student representatives – $12,352 went to the president of A.S. (he did not serve a full term – he would have received more if he had stayed.)

Directors received $3,400 to $175. Most received thousands.

Senators received $880 to $65.

Travel expenses ate up $69,249.

And $6,600 went to polo shirts this semester.

It goes on. If you find this confusing, don’t feel bad. We had an ex-senator in our office who tried for a year to figure out how the finances worked and where the money ended up. He never found out.

When the CSU system needs more money, it raises student fees. Now that A.S. needs more money, the first place they look is student fees. There are other ways a corporation such as A.S. has at its disposal to get money, but they chose to hit the students up first.

We are all here because we understand the importance of a college career in today’s job market. We need CSUN and because we need it, we are forced to accept the terms set for us by the CSU and A.S. We get charged more and more with little to no benefits to the majority of students. Our classes are overcrowded, our teachers are underpaid, our student groups and organizations receive very little funding and our enrollment numbers keep going up. Where is all the money going? Let’s get answers to that before we commit our successors and ourselves to more fee increases.

CSU does not ask our permission before raising our tuition, but A.S. does and they deserve an educated answer.

Though we could understand a small increase, this would be a terrible burden on students. An increase paid not just by us, but by future students who would have a dramatic fee increase that they had no control over.