Wednesday, April 10, 1996
75-cent increase would lend financial support to student
advocacy groupsBy Brooke Olson
Daily Bruin Staff
With less than two months until the spring turnover in student
government, the undergraduate council is busy voting on referendums
to be placed on the May 1 and 2 election ballot.
Tuesday night, the undergraduate council unanimously approved a
referendum for the ballot which would raise registration fees by 75
cents each quarter in order to provide more funding to two student
The University of California Student Association (UCSA) and the
United States Student Association (USSA) Â advocates for
student issues such as fee freezes, financial aid, and outreach
programs Â would receive 50 cents and 25 cents, respectively,
as a result of the referendum.
The referendum will need to be approved by Chancellor Charles
Young before it is placed on the ballot, said Election Board Chair
The referendum, if approved by the chancellor, would be voted on
by students during the elections. A student majority is needed to
pass the referendum.
"The most important thing we took into consideration of this
referendum is affordability," said John Du, the council’s external
vice president. "Both UCSA and USSA have had tremendous victories
in saving students money and in saving financial aid. It doesn’t
take an economics major to determine that an additional 75 cents a
quarter is a good bargain."
Currently, students pay $18 per quarter in registration fees,
which amounts to $54 per year. The referendum, if approved by the
students, would increase the quarterly amount to $18.75.
The University of California Student Association is given 40
cents per student each quarter, while the United States Student
Association receives a yearly budget of $1,500 from the council,
student government members said.
"UCLA pays the minimum amount of money in order to be members of
the UC Student Association," said York Chang, president of the
council. "But, UCSA is running on a shoestring budget, and it is
important for students to support this group. We could be members
of nothing if another UC campus decides to drop the
But some council members questioned the 75-cent increase.
"This council has had problems with raising registration fees
more than necessary, and I feel that by initiating this referendum,
the council could deviate from their goal to lower registration
fees," said Stanley Yen, the council’s financial support
commissioner, in Tuesday night’s meeting.
However, several council members were quick to point out the
benefits students receive by belonging to the organizations.
The University of California Student Association helped save
each student $700 per year in fee increases, while the United
States Student Association saved students $17 billion in federal
financial aid, council members said.
Both student organizations have continually lobbied the UC
Regents and Congress through protests, hearings, and other methods
of organization in attempts to ensure that students have a
definitive voice in government.
The programs which were kept intact as a result of actions by
the national organization included Subsidized Stafford Loans,
Perkins Loans, Pell Grants and Work Study, council members
"I personally would not be at UCLA right now if the federal
loans had been discontinued," Du said. "Seventy-five cents is the
price of a small coke, and if that’s all it takes to stop fees from
raising and to keep financial aid (intact), then so be it."