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Do we support the presentations that Students for Quality Education has asked to give regarding the upcoming USU fee referendum?

Daily 49er staff

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Ultimately, yes. However, we would prefer to see SQE find a better time and place for these presentations.

In light of the fact that Associated Students, Inc. surveyed our student body last semester and found that 80 percent of students are satisfied with the USU as it is today, we feel that the referendum itself is a waste of time.

The same survey also found that students would most likely only use the USU about 9 percent more than they already do. With that in mind, what exactly justifies the $165 raise of student fees?

“SQE stands against all fees,” according to an email that was sent by the California Faculty Association Long Beach chapter to CSULB teachers on behalf of the student organization.

The email was sent on Jan. 21, and it asked teachers to allow SQE representatives to take five or ten minutes of class time to give presentations regarding the referendum.

According to the email, presentations were set to begin on Monday, and would be available to teachers who were interested in giving up ten minutes of class time through Feb. 26, which marks the end of the big vote.

Of course, we applaud the effort and initiative that SQE has taken in order to provide the student body with the argument that opposes the potential new student fee. As it is, ASI has only provided students with arguments in favor of the fee.

Dating back to the last part of the fall semester in 2014, the ASI Facebook page has been riddled with “Vote YES” posts with regard to the upcoming referendum. SQE is merely supplying the much needed other side of the story.

The fact that the increase won’t necessarily affect the present student body shouldn’t be a sales pitch; it should be cause for concern about the overall intentions of the bureaucracy that governs CSULB students.

But, is class time really the right time for these political presentations?

As a staff, we are split on this question. While some of us believe that the classroom might be the very best place for this kind of student-led politicking, others on staff feel that it might be better to keep class time for course work only.

There may be students in these classes who feel that some of the class time they are paying for is being wasted, and they may feel helpless to do much about it.

However, these presentations are the only surefire way of capturing students’ attention.

We think that the teachers who have received these emails have an obligation to consult with their students prior to giving away precious, and expensive, class time.

On top of that, we would like to see SQE, and other student groups for that matter, utilize the Free Speech area on campus as an attempt to make a lasting impression with the student body.

It would be incredibly effective to see large signs or students giving presentations in the middle of the campus throughout the day, rather than a mere ten minutes at the beginning or end of a class.

SQE indicated in the aforementioned email that it plans to collect cards from students in the next few weeks in order to get a sense of what the student body wants.

We feel that this is the direction that ASI and the USU Board of Trustees should have taken with regards to implementing a referendum. We worry that the referendum may be for something they are not telling us about, since they already know what students’ opinion is after having done their own survey.

Students clearly enjoy the USU as it is, and if that’s the case…why is our student government wasting time and effort trying to change our minds?

Good luck SQE! Students, the referendum is coming regardless of whether it is needed. Be sure to vote, and to know what you’re voting for.



1 Comment

One Response to “Do we support the presentations that Students for Quality Education has asked to give regarding the upcoming USU fee referendum?”

  1. Ryan Weller on January 28th, 2015 8:31 am

    I dislike the way the USU fee is being talked about as a $165 increase. That number is so close to the current $179 (?) fee that, to the inattentive reader, it almost looks like a decrease.

    I think it would really be fair to always say ‘increase the fee from $179 to $344″ to understand that every student is already paying a helluva lot for a the USU. This isn’t charity, it should be run like a smart business.
    But that it (almost) is! Take a look at the 2013-2014 budget. Millions of dollars in fees and profitable revenue are being brought at rates increasing several percent from the years before. However expenses are rising faster, particularly by increasing salaries of all employees and part-time to full-time hires of the orchestrators of these newly introduced spending measures.

    First show us that you can seriously tighten the budget. If leadership employees (and the Chancellor whom I believed is paid by USU derived funds!) are dedicated to USU fee increase, they should kick in and consider cuts.
    The fee raise is should have no internal funds in media (I’ve seen a promotional video playing on loop in the Gym) or marketing which is already (8.39% of the USU budget!) to pay out for the referendum increase.

    Double my USU fee? NO way until you smarten up (aren’t we all here to learn?)

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