Daily 49er

Back on the ballot

ASI Senate resolution calls for students to vote for what their student fees pay for.

James Chow, Staff Writer

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Associated Students, Inc. Senate approved the second reading of a senate resolution that would shed light on what students are paying for under the Student Excellence Fee during their meeting last week.

The resolution, formally called the Resolution to Reevaluate the Beach Pride Referendum, would put said referendum back on the ballot for students to vote on where they want their fees to go.

“[We want to know] if [students] still support using student fee dollars for the purposes outlined in the ballot, or if they would like us to use the funding for different purposes,” said ASI Vice President Logan Vournas, who introduced the resolution.

The Beach Pride Referendum was originally introduced in the spring semester of 2000. The referendum increased student fees by $21 per semester, which ASI government distributed toward athletic programming and scholarships, varsity band and cheer and dance team.

Students voted in favor of the increase, and the Beach Pride Referendum was approved by then-CSULB President Robert Maxson.

Currently, the student funds are being allocated toward the athletics department.

Other potential areas for the allocation of student funds include the cultural resource centers or more scholarships for different majors.

Once the fee was initiated in 2000, ASI adopted the Beach Pride Funding Agreement with the Athletics Department to clarify which entity would fund certain parts of athletics. Under the agreement, ASI allocated funding toward Athletic Scholarships, campus spirit programs, recreational sports and fee waivers, while the Athletic Department funded all 49er sports teams.

The agreement was passed to cover July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2004. It was subsequently signed two more times by former campus presidents Maxson and F. King Alexander from 2004 to 2007 and 2007 to 2011, respectively.

In the fall semester of 2008, the Beach Legacy Referendum, a separate proposal that would establish a Beach Legacy Fund toward student services and maintenance of athletic programs, was introduced. The referendum called for another student fee of $95 per semester and $70 in the summer.

The Beach Legacy Referendum did not receive a majority student support and did not pass.

But, in 2011, Alexander approved Beach Legacy under a different name – the Student Excellence Fee. This continued ASI’s distribution of funding toward athletics with a reduction of $500,000. The Beach Pride Funding Agreement also expired in the same year.

ASI continued portioning the student fees under the Beach Pride fund for the 2013-14 fiscal year, but in 2014-15, the allocations were included as part of the general fund.

Vournas said in a Senate meeting last month that ASI wants to bring the referendum back to the student body through a ballot or the Student Fee Advisory Committee to ensure they still want their fees to go toward athletics.

“We want to give each student the ability to have their voice heard,” Vournas said.

ASI will vote on the third and final reading of the document Wednesday.

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