Students reject increase in A.S. and I.R.A. fees

Yolanda Becerra

CSUN students voted down two referendums Nov. 7 and 8 that would have raised Associated Students and Instructionally Related Activity Fees in the coming years.

CSUN students did approve Referendum 1, which proposed an amendment to the A.S. mission statement for the inclusion of the word “size” in anti-discrimination rules.

Six of the 13 Senate seats up for election were filled.

The 1,500 to 2,000 CSUN students decided the fate of the two proposed fee increases on the A.S. election ballot.

The IRA fee was voted down 864 to 520 while the A.S. fee was struck down 913 to 713.

Freshman business major Victor Zuniga said that he voted in the A.S. election because he didn’t want to pay more money.

Senior sociology major Erika Gonzalez said that she didn’t vote because she no longer has faith in A.S. but said, “I should’ve voted.”

Kevin Mojaradi-Stenke, A.S. marketing and public relations coordinator, said that the “numbers were pretty close” and that with the expected tuition increase from the Chancellor’s Office it is “totally understandable” that students don’t want more fee increases.

Mojaradi-Stenke said that they took it to the students and the students voted.

“We respect (the students’ decision) 110 percent,” Mojaradi-Stenke said.

A.S. has not discussed the possibility of proposing the fee increases again, especially because the University Student Union will increase its fee in the spring, Mojaradi-Stenke said.

He said “for us it’s business as usual,” and they will continue doing their jobs and provide students the services that they always have.

Voter turnout was expected to be higher than previous elections because of the two proposed fee increases that were on the ballot, Mojaradi-Stenke said.

Fall elections usually consist of the re-election of senators and, therefore, low voter turnout is expected-about 800 to 1,200 students usually vote.

In comparison, the spring elections that deal with the election of student body president usually have a voter turnout of about 3,000 to 4,000.

Mojaradi-Stenke said 5 percent to 10 percent voter turnout is usually the norm, and that anything higher than that is hard to get.

Gonzalez said that she has voted in the past and said that with everything students have going on in their lives, if elections don’t grab their attention, they don’t vote.

While CSUN students were able to decide on fees and the referendum, they were not able to decide on seven senate seats and only six senate seats were filled.

Nia Bluitt was elected for upper division senator II, Byron Baba was elected for the college of business and economics senate seat, Ty Blake Holden won the college of education senate seat, Samer Habib won the college of engineering and computer science seat, Norma Aceves was elected for the college of humanities senate seat and Igor Kagan won the college of social and behavioral science senate seat.

Anyone interested in applying for an open senate seat can do so through A.S.