Systemwide student government fee may replace Associated Students Inc. dues

Cesar Alexander

Sacramento State Associated Students Inc. Board of Directors met Nov. 27 to discuss a resolution in support of California State Student Association exploring options for an alternative funding model.

CSU Long Beach initiated the proposal, which asks for a statewide fee to be approved by state legislature to fund CSSA directly by the students of the CSU System. The proposed fee increase would be less than $5 per student.

Sac State CSSA Representative Anthony Gibson described the proposed fee and said the board is trying to make sure the distribution of fees does not have a major impact on student funds.

“CSSA is funded through two main sources,” Gibson said. “One is ASI dues rates.”

ASI pays an amount to fund CSSA as part of its due rate, which gives campuses the opportunity to vote on the student association board. Campuses can stop paying the due rate at any time, recognizing their voting privileges would stop as well.

The current amount is 65 cents out of the $63 ASI fee students pay from tuition.

“The second half comes from the Chancellor’s Office and that’s in the form of a renewable grant,” Gibson said.

For the current year, CSSA has a combined amount of more than $600,000 in funding that supports approximately 437,000 students in the CSU system. Gibson said it is a very small ratio for all the work it does and considering it is the largest student association in the country.

ASI’s board meeting was held to vote on a resolution recognizing CSSA’s funding model, which is not sustainable or substantial for the students it represents.

The resolution also allows the CSSA to look into alternative options for funding.

The new proposal will not see action until next year, but Gibson and the CSSA board will be meeting in January to discuss their options and any developing news.

Along with the potential fee increase, the CSSA board will be discussing CSSA’s authority over fee adjustments, ASI’s membership due rates and marketing strategies to let students know about of the statewide fee.

Government major Christian Ramos, 20, said he would like to see change, but admits to not being aware of the actions student government takes.

“I know about ASI, but I don’t pay attention to it,” Ramos said. “They make their appearance, I think it’s just our job as students to put the effort forward and most people don’t have time.”

Communication studies major Jerel Labson, 20, said ASI should interact with students online.

“I feel if ASI were to be more active on social media instead of just being kind of stagnant except for when they have events, they could reach out to students that way,” Labson said.

The CSSA board still has time to pursue the manner in which the fee and its contingent decisions will take place, Gibson said.

“One of those [resolutions] could be a legislative option but CSSA is keeping its eyes and ears open, and trying to make sure that they look for one that works best for not only the association but the students it represents,” Gibson said. “All of it is very new and it’s nothing but looking for initial information right now.”