SPECIAL SERIES : WILL STUDENTS PAY MORE?
Approved Fee Increases Await President's OK
Even the narrowly defeated athletic proposal has a chance
March 9, 2004 6:59 PM
The Fee Advisory Committee will certify close to 8,600 votes Wednesday, opening the door for President Robert Corrigan and California State University Chancellor Charles Reed to make their decisions about the four proposed fee hikes.
Students flooded the polling stations at SF State last week and approved three of four fee increases, casting a record number of votes—four times that of previous elections.
Proposals for the academic instructional fee, career center and student health services each received at least a 60 percent approval. But students shot down the athletics and intramurals proposal, knocking off what would have been $33 more each semester for students to pay.
While the two proposed fees will maintain career center and student health services, the third prevents a major cut in classes. None of the results are solidified, as the referendum was a non-binding, advisory vote only meant to measure campus opinion on the proposals. But the final decision lies with Corrigan and Reed who can accept or overturn the students' decision.
The athletics department would not comment and referred all queries to the Office of Public Affairs, which released the unofficial results of the March 2 and 3 elections on Monday.
“It wasn't a rousing defeat, it was a narrow defeat,” said Christina Holmes, interim director of public affairs, of the 233 votes by which the proposal was defeated. “Students were very mature in their voting, and there is a lot to consider.”
She said she still is pleased with the student's decision and that the cuts in athletics are still pending because Corrigan and Reed have yet to accept or reject the decision.
The athletic proposal asked for $32 for athletics and $1 for intramurals to maintain a level of services that include student jobs, membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The referendum’s failure means that athletics could be forced to eliminate half the teams, student-athletes and staff because next semester the program will lose its funding from the University General Fund to pad SF State’s $2.9 million budget shortfall.
Marie Schafle, interim director of student health services, is confident the Health Services fee will go through because Corrigan continuously has shown support for the referendum. She commends students for making the difficult decision to tax themselves to continue the same level of health services.
“In a time when community health resources are dwindling and more than half of our students are uninsured, we feel that the students made a very mature and prudent choice,” Schafle said. “We will do our utmost to serve them in the best way that we can.”
If Corrigan and Reed agree with the outcome of the elections, students will pay $103 more each semester in campus-based fees.
“I am proud that so significant a number of students voiced their opinions by voting in the fee referendum, and I applaud their willingness to make some very difficult choices. Nearly three-quarters of those who voted chose higher fees to protect their higher education. It is one of the most remarkable, responsible and courageous student acts I’ve witnessed as an educator,” Corrigan said in a news release.
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