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UCOP gives guidelines on lobbying, funding, fees

By Melody Hanatani

Feb. 4, 2004 9:00 p.m.

The University of California Office of the President released
the second round of guideline drafts late Tuesday regarding
university funding policies for student governments and

Acceptable use of mandatory student fees, student group
referenda and student lobbying rights are just a few of the items
covered in the guidelines.

The negotiations over the guidelines have been an ongoing
process between the UC Student Association and UCOP.

Hanan Eisenman, a spokesman for UCOP, said he will comment on
the draft after representatives from both parties meet in the
coming weeks.

Of specific importance to some members of the UCLA Undergraduate
Students Association Council is the section on student group
funding by student governments.

Currently, USAC only provides funding for Officially Recognized
Student Organizations ““ groups registered with the Center for
Student Programming that are not political or religious in

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled student governments could
not allocate funds based on the viewpoint of the recipients. UCOP
has been in the process of updating its guidelines since the

The second draft is updated in compliance with the Court’s
ruling, mandating student governments must allocate funds on a
viewpoint- neutral basis.

Discussion over changing USAC’s bylaws for student group
funding was tabled at the Oct. 21 general meeting when General
Representative Josh Lawson proposed extending funding to all groups
registered with CSP. Discussion was tabled pending the release of
the second draft of the UCOP guidelines.

Matt Kaczmarek, USAC external vice president and UCSA chairman,
said USAC is not in violation of the Court’s decision because
its bylaws state that funds are allocated on a viewpoint-neutral
basis. But only ORSO’s are funded on a viewpoint neutral
basis. Kaczmarek is also the chief negotiator between the
University of California Students Association and UCOP.

Lawson said he is planning on reintroducing the proposal because
he believes viewpoint neutrality means opening up the process to
all student groups, regardless of their political or religious

A big issue with previous drafts of the guidelines was the
financial support of student governments for off-campus
organizations, like the nationwide lobbying organization United
States Student Association. USAC currently contributes membership
fees to USSA.

Members of UCSA objected to previous guideline drafts which did
not allow student governments to use mandatory student fees in
supporting off-campus organizations.

The second draft, in addition to permitting student governments
to join off-campus organizations at a basic membership level, will
give the option of additional funding as long as it can be
justified to the chancellor as providing a direct educational
benefit to UC students.

Kaczmarek said UCSA will most likely push for membership beyond
the basic level for the final version of the guidelines.

Once members of the UCSA send their final comments back to UCOP
and negotiations are made, revisions will be made to the final
version, which is expected to be released by the end of the
academic year.

Members of UCSA will meet this weekend to prepare their comments
for the final draft, Kaczmarek said.

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Melody Hanatani
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