Campus: CSU East Bay -- November 11, 2005

Student Fee Hike Needed to Maintain Services

The Early Childhood Education Center, scholarship support for students, and other vital programs that serve more than 12,500 California State University, East Bay students are at risk due to funding shortages.

In order to maintain these services, the university's student government-known as Associated Students Inc.-is seeking to raise student body fees from the current rate of $15 per academic quarter, or $45 per academic year. The ASI will be conducting a student online referendum Nov. 21-23 seeking to raise its fees in incremental amounts during the next four years until they reach $43 per quarter, or $129 per year.

The current $45 annual fee for Cal State East Bay students is dramatically less than that paid by their peers at other California State University campuses. Students at Sacramento State pay $225 per year, Cal Maritime students pay $210, San Jose State students pay $147, and Sonoma State students pay $120.

The increase would allow ASI to maintain important services such as the Early Childhood Education Center, for students who require daycare services for their youngsters while attending classes. It also will support extracurricular student activities such as concerts on campus and forums that bring best-selling authors, playwrights and national and international political figures to the campus.

Other important services that the ASI will be able to provide include:

  • Part-time free legal services for Cal State East Bay students;
  • Expansion of copier, printing, faxing and general office services for students;
  • Outdoor adventure programs with equipment rental and guide services;
  • Needed space for clubs and organizations in the newly expanded University Union;
  • Inexpensive laptop rental services.
If the referendum is successful, the current student fees would increase in the first year by $4 per quarter (to $19) or by $12 for a full academic year (to $57) for 2005-06. The rate would continue to increase by $6 to $25 a quarter or $75 per academic year in 2006-07, by $8 to $33 a quarter or $99 per academic year in 2007-08, and by $10 to $43 per quarter or $129 annually in 2008-09.

The ASI, which serves as the official student voice of Cal State East Bay, provides leadership for a diverse population and makes decisions for the benefit of the university's students. It makes funds and resources available for events that "broaden educational, social, political, and cultural awareness on campus, while enhancing the experiences of students on campus," said Kamar O'Guinn, chair of the ASI board of directors.

"The purpose of the referendum is to ask the students to help us help them," O'Guinn said.

Without the increases to the Associated Students fee, the ASI board will be forced to reduce funding it provides for student services and programs, including a rollback of the Early Childhood Education Center operations. The center not only offers daycare services that allow many CSUEB students with children to attend classes, it provides a learning facility that emphasizes growth and enhancement of each child.

If the ASI curtails funding of the Early Childhood Education Center, many current university students will probably be forced to drop out of college and potential future students will be prevented from starting their college education because they have no other means for the daycare of their children.

Student Divina Herrera has two children, an infant and preschooler, in the center.

"I enjoy the friendly welcoming staff and a center that encourages parents to drop in at any time and volunteer," Herrera said. "It would be very difficult for me if I had to find another daycare. I'd probably have to enroll in less classes or stop school altogether."

ASI funding cutbacks also will mean limiting scholarship and fellowship opportunities for students, eliminating student employment positions, and reducing campus events and programming.

"The proposed series of small increases is necessary to help us keep pace with inflation, retain qualified and effective employees, and continue to provide necessary services that Cal State East Bay students demand," O'Guinn said. "The current ASI fee will not provide sufficient funds for us to maintain required operational needs and co-curricular programs, services, and opportunities called for by the ASI mission statement."

Contact: Barry Zepel, Media Relations Officer, (510) 885-3884

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