The Student Assembly voted on Monday to include several proposals, in addition to the proposed constitution, on the upcoming Student Association Executive Board’s upcoming ballot.
Students will vote on a $3 student activity fee increase, which would raise the fee from $92.50 to $95.50 per semester. One dollar of this increase would go to funding the Academic Readership Program, which brings the New York Times to campus, and the other $2 would go toward Off Campus College Transport.
According to Eric Larson, SA vice president for finance and chief financial officer for Off Campus College Transport, OCCT has expanded its routes, extended hours and increased its fleet since the last activity fee increase, which happened three years ago. These added hours mean an increase in payroll costs as well as maintenance costs.
The last increase, which took place in fall 2010, raised the fee from $86.50 to the current $92.50, with $3 of those $6 allocated to funding OCCT. The SA president who presided over the last increase, Adam Amit, warned that if it didn’t pass, OCCT would go bankrupt.
The $1 going to the Readership Program would help put the program on solid financial ground and provide it the opportunity to potentially expand into publications beyond The New York Times, such as the Washington Post or USA Today.
The program, which provides 300 physical copies of the Times for campus each business day, in addition to 300 digital copies, totals around $20,000 per year.
“I think both services are invaluable to the Student Association,” said Aaron Ricks, vice president for academic affairs and author of the ballot initiative. “I think the Academic Readership Program has become the SA’s newest additional service that we provide for the campus and OCCT has been the one that we cannot neglect.”
Supplementary information will be available alongside the ballot question for students to read up on where the fee increases will go and why.
The SA is also leaving up to popular vote the decision to rename the SA E-Board position of vice president of multicultural affairs to vice president of diversity inclusiveness.
Some representatives questioned whether the current name excludes other minority groups, such as those based on gender or sexual orientation. The SA ultimately decided to put the decision on the ballot alongside the constitution, instead of including the change within the new constitution.
Although Monday’s meeting was open to the public as a forum for them to voice their concerns about the proposed constitution, nobody spoke up during the public debate section of the meeting.