National Beat Reporter
The UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) spring 2021 campus elections will be open for voting starting April 19 and will close April 21. The elections are guided by the Campus Elections Commission (CEC) and will allow both undergraduate and graduate students to vote on measures surrounding school fees.
A 20 percent voter turnout will be required to validate the election and participation allows students to better understand where their money is being allocated. Students are urged to carefully review each organization’s proposed measures before voting for any mandatory service fees. Strong support or opposition towards any measure can be submitted to the CEC as a Pro/Con Statement.
This spring’s election brings five measures to the table for students deciding to vote. Two proposed fees are applicable to undergraduate students exclusively, while the other three are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
The first measure requests the continuation of a quarterly $5.85 student service fee that supports the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). EOP offers a retention service meant to guide undergraduate students in their transition into the university, their academic career, and their post-grad future.
While EOP focuses on first-generation and low-income students, all undergraduates are welcome to utilize their resources. EOP provides counselors for mentoring students, sponsors collaborative student programs for the UCSB community, and works to strengthen on-campus issues such as the retention and graduation of first-generation students.
The proposed fee aims to continue student retention efforts and will fund academic, social, and cultural EOP programs.
The next measure asks undergraduate students to pay $0.89 per quarter for the Student Medical Emergencies Relief Fund (SMERF). SMERF provides funds for students unable to cover their emergency medical, dental, or optical care.
“The UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) spring 2021 campus elections will be open for voting starting April 19 and will close April 21. The elections are guided by the Campus Elections Commission (CEC) and will allow both undergraduate and graduate students to vote on measures surrounding school fees.”
The third measure covers UCSB’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) fee and a support fee for Career Services. Both undergraduate and graduate students can vote on this measure. CAPS and Career Services are asking for a continued mandatory fee of $5.85 per quarter to continue aiding students with any mental health or emotional distress issues, as well as offering services for career exploration.
A $2.69 fee will be aimed towards CAPS to fund psychologists, staff, and professional services. The other $3.16 will go towards funding career counselors,other staff, and online career tools.
The fourth measure is also offered to undergraduate and graduate students. It is a $7.13 fee for the Health and Wellness Program, which offers over 90 research-based programs on wellness topics such as healthy eating, drugs, stress reduction, sex, and relationships. According to the CEC’s spring election pamphlet, these programs help up to 330 students annually.
Additional funds towards the Health & Wellness Program will allow weekly resources for students at no additional cost; continuing the program’s goal of providing academic, physical, social, and emotional support.
The final measure available for undergraduate and graduate student voting will be a fee of $8.17 for the Women, Gender & Sexual Equity (WGSE) support fee. WGSE supports services and programs on campus that help people who may be facing challenges due to their identity.
The additional fee will aid in maintaining programs within the Women’s Center, Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE), the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD), and Non-Traditional Student Resource Centers. The addition of technology and library acquisitions will be implemented, and WSGE will improve its current programs with the additional funds.
The CEC has sent further information on how students can act on their ability to vote for campus elections through email. The link to vote can be found at https://vote.as.ucsb.edu.