2006 Fall Special
Election Supplement

2006 Students' Initiative

Text of the bill:

The Students' Initiative will provide the needed funding and support for campus-wide programs, services, events and operations dedicated exclusively to enhancing student life. The fee would guarantee minimum funding of $250 for over 300 eligible student clubs and organizations and support for over thirty A.S. boards and committees and campus-wide departments that directly serve students.

The initiative will require that participating organizations observe a 5-year moratorium on further fee requests if the measure passes.

Ballot language:

Do you approve of a $100 per undergraduate student per quarter increase in the current A.S. membership fee of $56.23 for a quarterly fee of $156.23 (plus a return to aid surcharge, see below)? {Click here for funding distribution breakdown.} Additionally, beginning in 2012 a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) adjustment for inflation will be calculated and assessed every 5 years based on a 5-year average. Upon approval the A.S. membership fee of $156.23 would be assessed all four quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer), beginning Winter 2007 and be subject to reaffirmation in Spring of 2009. There will be a 25% return to aid surcharge added to the fee, for a total fee of $189.56. {Click here for RTA explanation and fee chart.}

Pro Statements

AS Program Board supports the passing of the Students' Initiative. In addition to all of the campus services that will be enhanced through the Initiative, Program Board will receive greatly needed additional funds for student programming. If passed, Program Board can offer services like:

Support campus services and support Associated Students Program Board by voting Yes on the Students' Initiative.
Brendan Finch, Commissioner
Associated Students Program Board

Student programs and services that enhance the quality of life on campus should be available to ALL students based on "interest" and not ability to pay. This initiative will allow students to participate without having to worry about cost.
"Leave a legacy" As students of UCSB, we should take pride in our university and do things to improve its quality. Past students have left their legacies at UCSB contributing the Ucen, the Rec Cen, S.M.E.R.F and many other vital elements of our campus.
Passage of this initiative will:
Keep participation fees low and affordable
Allow competitive wages to be offered to student employees
Maintain quality facilities and equipment for recreational use
Allow funding for the expansion of programs such as the adventure programs
Give more support to club teams and allow them to attain full potential.
Shaun Hicks

Art & Lectures supports the AS Ballot initiative because it allows students to support services that make their quality of life better at the University, including attending events presented by Arts & Lectures for low costs. Even though general admission prices are on the rise, Arts & Lectures believes in providing students with affordable options and will continue to offer student tickets at low costs for all events. The AS Ballot initiative gives students the chance to continue supporting such worthwhile services in a single election.
Heather Silva
Assistant to the Director, Contracts & Grants Administrator
Arts & Lectures

My name is Richard and I am an undergraduate and chairman of the University Center Governance Board. We are depending on an increased budget through the Students' Initiative because of recent budget cuts and an increase in minimum wage. The UCEN is one of the biggest student employers on campus and cannot continue with all of its current services without your affirmation of the Students' Initiative. Please vote YES on the Students' Initiative.
Richard Sloven

Programs We Want, Services We Need
Wow! There have been so many accusations and concerns about the Students' Initiative that I thought I'd help clear some things up.
First off, what exactly is the Students' Initiative? Well, it's a campus wide effort to increase the student services we have and to ensure the programs we want for the future. When the other A.S. execs and I sat down last quarter to evaluate our financial crisis, we decided that we would not only look to repair and grow A.S., but the entire the UCSB community. We sent inquiries out to departments across campus that offer student services as well as A.S. entities and asked them to create a needs assessment. With these compiled assessments, we were given a realistic view into the actual needs of the community. However, due to reduced budgets and minimal resources, many of the groups felt that they would be unable to run a lock-in by themselves. Which brings me to the next concern...
Why bundle 29 entities into one larger initiative? My simple response to that is: As students, we should care about the entire UCSB community. By combining all these entities, we are taking responsibility in ensuring that all student services in need can be equally supported. Even if there are services on the initiative that you do not personally use, you are helping to make those resources available to the students who do.
Where is the accountability for the funds? The beauty of student departments and organizations is that the students control the funds. These entities all have internal structures with boards that are predominately or entirely led by students. In addition, every other year the student body has the option to "not reaffirm" any of the 29 entities individually if they deem necessary.
What is a 5-year moratorium and how does it affect you? The moratorium is essentially a pact with the students that says every entity listed on the Initiative will not be able to ask for an additional lock-in fee for the next five years. This was done not to hurt the organizations that are not involved, but rather to protect you the student from having to pay more at a later time. A great thing about the Students' Initiative is that it will put much-needed funds back into Finance Board, which used to be the main funding source for all campus groups and organizations. Any group not part of the initiative (and even those that are) will also have the ability to go to Finance Board and request any necessary funds. Also, any group not listed on the Students' Initiative can still go out for a lock-in, if needed.
Why is this on the fall ballot as opposed to spring? First off, there is nothing "sneaky, underhanded, [or] downright dirty" about this Initiative ("Five Former Members of A.S. Speak Out," Daily Nexus, Oct. 17, 2006.) We are in no way trying to pull a fast one by the students. Even the people who are so adamantly opposing this Initiative agree that the need is there. Associated Students especially is on the verge of major decline if there is no additional funding soon. Waiting until spring would mean that two quarters and a summer would go by before funds could be collected and restoration and growth could commence. By passing the Initiative this quarter, students will see an increase in services right away and will not have to wait an entire year to see results.
If I'm on Financial Aid, will I still have to pay the fee? As mandated by the UC Regents, all new fees must include Return To Aid. Students who receive Financial Aid will be covered because Return to Aid ensures that they will not be impacted by fee increases.
Why is the fee $100 as opposed to $100.14? Over the past few weeks, many student leaders got together to decide the threshold for students. After great debate it was decided that we did not want to ask students for more than $100. We did not choose this amount because it was clean and round, but rather because we felt anything beyond it would be unreasonable to ask. The original assessments came in at around $123 and after some discussions and some compromising we were able to bring it down to $100. I hope you will see that the benefits of this Initiative outweigh its costs. Please visit the A.S. website to see the full list of 100 reasons for $100.
The Students' Initiative is supported by student groups, organizations, and departments all across campus. By voting "Yes" you show that you care about the UCSB community as a whole and take responsibility to ensure it will thrive for you and for students to come.
Jared Goldschen is the current Associated Students President.

The Disabled Students Program supports students living with temporary and permanent disabilities. Through a variety of academic accommodations, our department helps students move through their educational careers here at UCSB. The number of students we serve has increased annually. DSP strongly supports the Student Initiative Fee. It would increase the support for student groups, for A.S., and for our office, among numerous student support services. This fee would directly assist our note taking, test proctoring, alternative text production, and sign language interpreting services greatly. Gary White
Acting Director, Disabled Students Program
University of California Santa Barbara

Con Statements

No Statements Submitted

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