By Lizbeth Lopez |Staff Writer|
Coyotes, we finally get to decide whether or not we want a tuition increase.
Voting polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 29 and Thursday, March 1 on the Student Fee Referendum that proposes a fee increase of $14 per quarter or $42 per academic year beginning fall quarter 2012.
This is the opportunity that we have been waiting for.
This referendum will place a financial burden on all students and the benefits might not be considered by all students to be worth the $14 per quarter or $42 per year.
You can vote on whether or not we will be having a $14 per quarter or $42 per academic year tuition fee increase and I suggest you take the opportunity.
If we vote “yes” to the student referendum, the ASI fee will be increased to support the ASI scholarship, the President Academic Excellence Scholarship (PAES), scholarships for student athletes, students’ research and travel, increase funding for the Children Center and increase support for ASI programing and services.
You may be thinking to yourself that not all students utilize the services of the Children’s Center, participate in athletics, attend athletic events or are eligible to receive scholarships. And I would agree with you.
A “no” vote will mean that funding for the PAES will be limited and scholarships for student athletes will be reduced by over 46 percent.
The Children’s Center was forced to reduce staff level, cut back on their center hours and limit the number of student-parents they can serve.
The voter pamphlet states that a lot of student-parents at CSUSB depend on the Children’s Center and are grateful for it because without it they would have not been able to complete their college education.
Instead of charging all CSUSB students for the Children’s Center services we should look at charging student-parents for the services they use with a manageable payment plan, or provide volunteer or non-paid internship programs.
I do understand that not everyone qualifies for financial aid and students depend on scholarships to pay for tuition fees, books or other student expenses however, the PAES scholarships only benefit and attract the top one percent of graduating seniors from San Bernardino County.
That only translates to about 150 high school students.
On the other hand the only reason that CSUSB is able to provide the PAES scholarship is due the generosity of local corporations, foundations and individuals.
These once prosperous corporations and foundations have had to cut back on the monetary support that they can offer to our institution because of their own economic problems.
We need to keep looking for more corporations and foundations that can contribute whatever they can towards scholarships because in the end anything helps.
Let me put the student fee referendum in perspective.
The Recreational Center is not used by all students yet the $324 facilities fee, just one of the many fees, is included in our tuition every quarter for undergraduates.
The 12 percent CSU tuition fee increases are not something that we have any control of because it is decided by the CSU Board of Trustees and they make their determination based on state funding.
I stand by my word stated in the previous issue of the Coyote Chronicle, that we need to howl and put a stop to tuition fee increases.This student fee referendum is something that we actually have control of and it is in our hands to prevent additional fees by placing your vote.
You can find the ballots at the north side of John M. Pfau Library, west side of the Student Union, north side of Jack Brown Hall and at the east side of the Social and Behavioral Sciences building.
Pick up a copy of the voter pamphlet at the main desk in the Santos Manuel Student Union, the Associated Students Inc. office, the library or the bookstore for more information on the referendum’s financial impact analysis.