Saturday, May 26

PULSE, SAFE referenda approved


Students approved two referenda that would ensure the financial
futures of both the Associated Students UCLA and community service
organizations in the undergraduate and graduate student
elections.

Both SAFE, which would go toward ASUCLA, and PULSE, which would
go toward community service and outreach organizations on campus,
were passed by a majority of voters by a wide margin, according to
election results released Thursday night.

“It was my heart and soul for the past quarter so
I’m happy it passed,” said Farheen Malik, USAC’s
recently-elected community service commissioner, who added that the
community service organizations needed PULSE.

SAFE, named for its relevance to students, activities,
facilities and employees, required the approval of both
undergraduate and graduate students.

According to stipulations established by the chancellor, SAFE
had to gain over 50 percent approval from the general student
population with at least a 20 percent voter turnout.

Graduate students passed the referendum in their elections with
a 61.4 percent approval rating. Undergraduate students passed the
SAFE referendum at 58.6 percent and the general student population
approved it at 59.4 percent.

“Now we just need to make sure that the money that
students entrusted to us goes toward what we told them it’ll
go toward,” said Tina Park, an undergraduate representative
on the ASUCLA board of directors who will be serving the second
year of her term next year.

Currently, students pay $7.50 a year toward ASUCLA, the umbrella
organization that includes both student governments, Student Media
and the services and retail operations throughout campus.

SAFE will gradually increase the yearly association fee to
$55.50 by the end of the decade starting with a $12 increase in the
2006-2007 academic year. Every three years following that, the fee
will be adjusted for inflation.

Student Media is the publisher of the Daily Bruin.

The financial viability of the association was dependent on the
passage of SAFE.

In a model forecast that depicted ASUCLA’s financial
future, the association could hypothetically go bankrupt in 2013 if
it went on with planned capital projects.

Some of the planned capital projects were long overdue,
according to ASUCLA, such as the Bombshelter, which has not been
renovated in almost 40 years.

The majority of the additional fee increase will go toward
capital projects such as building a South Campus Student Center in
place of the Bombshelter and also renovating the Cooperage.

Renovating the X-Cape Gameroom into a juice bar and study lounge
as well as renovations to the Cooperage will commence this summer,
Park said.

SAFE will also go toward increasing ASUCLA student wages by 50
cents an hour and increasing the amount of student programming by
$100,000.

Though ASUCLA will not start collecting the increased fee until
the 2006-2007 school year, the additional funds will be allocated
to wages and student programming starting next year.

PULSE, which stands for Promoting Understanding and Learning
through Service and Education, will cost undergraduate students
$19.50 a year, charged every quarter, to go toward four community
service organizations that sponsor over 100 service projects: the
Community Activities Committee, the Community Service Commission,
the Campus Retention Committee and the Student Initiated Outreach
Committee.

Representatives of the community service organizations have
expressed the need for additional funds to maintain services like
transportation to community sites and other resources and noted
that the referendum would not be used to expand the
organizations.

PULSE will require undergraduates to start paying the additional
fee in fall 2005 and the fee will be adjusted every three years for
inflation.

The Student Initiated Outreach Committee is slated to receive
over half of the fee. The committee supports outreach efforts
through programs like American Indian Recruitment and Mentors for
Academic Peer Support.

Out of the four service organizations the Student Initiated
Outreach Committee is the only one that receives federal funding
and faced budget cuts of 75 percent in recent years.

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