ASI will hold fee referendum vote

Increased revenue would support food pantry, other programs

Karen Ambrocio, News Editor

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From Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 students can vote on a proposed $25 fee increase by Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) that will go towards student programs. If passed, this fee will go in effect Fall 2017.

“The ASI budget is pretty much exhausted and we don’t really have any room for expansion, so the ideas that our students have … aren’t being able to be executed since we don’t have enough revenue in our budget,” said ASI President Collin Bogie.

With a possible increase in funding, ASI hopes to open an on-campus food pantry to help food-insecure students pay for 24-hour library access Sunday mornings through Friday evenings and have larger-scale campus events such as concerts or festivals.

“You’ll always see students opposed to fee increases and that happens to every single fee but in talking to students about the new initiatives and programs all of the students have been supportive of that,” said Vice President of Student and University Affairs Christopher Morales,

ASI funds the Gender Equity Center, the LGBTQA+ Center and campus activities board which last year hosted around 100 events. They also pay salary and benefits to over 50 student employees and nine full-time staff members. Their student emergency fund, which is a relief fund to aid students faced with catastrophic events is another benefit.

Student fees also pay into the ASI Leadership fund, which acts as a scholarship for student organizations to send their students on trips to different conferences that will benefit their organization.

ASI hasn’t increased their fees since 1992. They do not receive any state support and instead solely relies on student fees. A yes on this fee referendum raises it to $75 per student and a no keeps it at $50.

“This fee will allow us to pay our employees and have that student employment opportunity continues on campus,” said Chair and Chief of Staff Rhiannon Ripley.

ASI’s budget is an estimated $1.3 million this year. If this fee passes, it will increase the ASI budget by $650,000 depending on student enrollment. If the fee is dismissed, ASI will have to decrease certain resources and programs and work with a tight budget.

“We’re here to represent the students and if they do vote no, that’s what the students want and in return that’s what we want and we’ll move forward and get it figured out. Without the fee referendum we’ll be looking at some type of budget cut,” said Bogie.

ASI will hold a town hall meeting on Nov. 29 during U-hour in Arts 240 for students to talk to ASI about the fee and ask any questions.

“Everything we do and all our money is completely spent on services and programs that are going to go back to the campus,” said Collin.

Students can get more information at bit.ly/asi-bod and vote.

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