ASI opposes students success fees

Madyson Baker

Last Wednesday Oct. 1 at Associated Students Inc. board meeting Ryan Allain Vice President of Academic Affairs withdrew legislation in opposition of student success fees.

At the ASI Board of Directors working board meeting Allain proposed a resolution in opposition to student success fees. The working board meeting is where the board of directors propose and discuss legislation put to a vote at the ASI voting board meeting.

“There has been a lot of controversy over [student success fees] of how they are implemented and what they go towards.. and also the accountability, do they go through the students or do they just implement them?” said Allain.

Allain notes that Sacramento State does not currently have a student success fee and that on other campuses the fee can range from $165-600. California State Universities like Northridge, San Jose, East Bay and San Luis Obispo have already implemented the fee.

Student Success fees are a considered a category two fee in which a university can implement when the funding from the state isn’t there.

Category two fees are campus based mandatory fees required for enrollment, under the authority of the president once established by the Chancellor. These are separate from tuition fees which are the same at all campuses and set by the board of trustees.

Mike Sharif, director of governmental affairs,points out Sac State still is not getting all of the funding it needs and when the budget is discussed in January, a student success fee could be discussed.

“Part of the reason schools are implementing student success fees are to supplement the money we’re not getting from the state. We’re getting some money little by little but not enough,” said Sharif.

Gina Curry, the university’s Chief Financial Advisor Designee, explained the fee is in response to the cuts in the budget over the past several years.

“It is an absolute tax to the students to supplement where the state has not stepped up,” said Curry.

The California State Student Association to put a 18 month moratorium on student success fees starting June 15, 2014.Therefore a student success fee can not be implemented until the moratorium is finished.

The resolution brought forth by the CSSA recommends that system wide advisory group be formed.

11of 23 California State Universities have student success fees.

Curry has seen the fee implemented and how it helps students on CSU campuses.

“Anything from incorporating more library services and materials, IT and computer labs and some are around advising and graduation initiatives,” said Curry.

Despite information given by Curry in the benefits student success fees could bring, Allain stood in opposition of implementing a new fee for students. Instead, the ASI Vice President of Academic Affairs moves to poll student opinion and possibly implement grassroot campaigns for funding.

“I want to know how the students feel about the student success fee- my assumption is, and assumptions are bad, but that the students wouldn’t like it. But if it was going towards tangible resources how the students would feel about that?” said Allain.

Curry explained that student success fees is a broad topic and could be defined by the university’s needs.

“some are written sort of loosely and some are very specific,””said Curry.

ASI Board of Directors will make a decision on behalf of the student body on the future of student success fees at Sac State.

Patricia Worely, ASI Executive Director, points out that the stance of the board decides to take will live beyond their term.

“When the ASI board of directors does take a clear position on a given matter on behalf of the organization therefore on behalf of the student voice that position pulls into the future without end unless a subsequent board of directors were to take a new action,” said Worely.

The board of directors felt the resolution in opposition to the student success fee as written was an opposition to the fee itself. Allain said his opposition is towards the transparency and implementation.

Allain wanted more time to look at the fee and research what other schools have done with it.

Allain encourages anyone who wants to discuss this matter to visit him in his office hours Monday or Wednesday from 9-11 a.m as well as attend the ASI Board Meeting Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. in the University Union Foothill Suite.