Image of ASUC logo with the text Student Membership Fee Referendum

Why You Should Vote Yes on Proposed Fee Increase

Contributor
School of Medicine

In just a couple short weeks, students will have the opportunity to vote on a fee referendum. I would like to take the opportunity to give my honest opinion why it is crucial for students to vote in this referendum.

Simply put, if the fee referendum fails to pass, 25 percent of the funding for current Registered Clubs and Organizations (RCOs) will be cut, in addition to funding for ASUC and school governments. As such, the question of whether or not to support this fee increase becomes contingent upon our views of RCOs and student governments at UCSF.

RCOs represent the diversity of student interests, and range from educational, social, cultural, artistic, recreational, community service and spiritual clubs.

Students organize into RCOs to have an experience that isn’t offered in formal curricular environment at the school.

Feel like there isn’t enough childhood access to care? Join Children’s Health Hut, an RCO committed to improving the health of children. Want to learn more about the values of the Iranian culture in the UCSF community? Join the Iranian Cultural Organization. Want to meet with other students to discuss pertinent health policy issues? Join the Interprofessional Action Council.

In essence, RCOs afford students the flexibility to shape their own student experience during their time at UCSF.

Because they add so much to students’ lives here, it becomes necessary to support RCOs financially as well. This ASUC fee referendum maintains that crucial financial support.

Those burritos you ate at that lunchtime meeting? They came from these ASUC funds. That health fair where you taught children about oral hygiene? Some of your supplies came from ASUC funds. That wonderful school play? ASUC funds. The Annual UCSF Formal? Yep, you guessed it: ASUC funds.

The ASUC in its own right is important for the student experience, as well. We represent student interests with the administration. One of the main reasons current students are retaining their student housing beyond two years is because of the efforts of the ASUC.

We help fund the school governments of Dental, Medicine and Pharmacy, allowing school governments the flexibility to pursue independent goals. And yes, we even plan, host and sponsor fantastic events like the UCSF Annual Formal.

ASUC has been committed to RCOs, which have flourished over the last decade. We now have more than 130 RCOs, sponsoring more than 400 student events every year. This is wonderful, as it means that students are taking advantage of the multifaceted groups that our institution offers. However, as RCOs have grown, the ASUC reserve has shrunk precipitously.

The $11 fee increase, from $17 to $28, ensures that RCOs can continue to be a substantial part of our student experience on campus, ASUC can continue to effectively represent student interests, and leaving some room for growth.

We have all been burdened by rising fees. But this is the one fee that goes back entirely to students, the experiences we want to have, and the groups that complete our education. Please join me, and vote for this nominal fee increase, because our collective student experiences are worth it.