Student union proposes optional fee hike

A systemwide fee that would pay for legislative representation for California State University students was proposed at an Associated Students meeting Monday afternoon.

The California State Student Association, an organization that represents student body organizations across all 23 CSUs, presented the proposal to the A.S. Government Affairs Committee.

The fee, which is tentatively set at $2 per student per semester, would fund direct representation of students at the state and federal level. Associated students organizations throughout the state of California cannot legally advocate for CSU students, according to the proposal. Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 6.03.01 PM

The committee members quizzed Anthony Gibson, a representative from the statewide student organization, about the proposal during a teleconference call. Specifics were scarce, as many details were still being worked out, Gibson said.

Currently, the organization is supported by dues paid by student governments at each CSU campus, at a rate of 65 cents per student, said Taylor Herren, A.S. president, via email.  Some funding also comes from the Chancellor’s Office.

This funding system is not ideal, Herren said.

“The problem is that one, each campus pays those fees voluntarily and could pull their support at any time, and two, CSSA represents over 400,000 students of the CSU with four full-time professional staff,” Herren said.

The organization has not decided how much the fee will cost and hasn’t put together a draft budget, Herren said.

“I understand their concerns about sustainable funding and expanding their budget,” Herren said. “But, if we are going to increase their budget and charge students directly, we need to see a proposed budget so that we know how the money is going to be spent.”

Herren has asked the organization to provide a draft budget for the next government affairs meeting on Dec. 9. The next step is to review the draft and decide whether to approve the proposal as an action item in the next California State Student Association meeting in January.

 

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mzarate139 on Twitter.