By Will Norton-Mosher
When budget cuts hit, Learning Support Services (LSS) had to consolidate resources and cut down on the number of students receiving help. Now LSS students have managed to get a referendum on the ballot for the upcoming student election. If it passes, the referendum will restore those services that were cut.
Referendums, which are the student equivalent of bills in Congress, are created, considered, and voted on by the student body. If passed, this referendum will increase student fees in order to fund LSS. The referendum, called Measure 30, will be used to pay subject tutors and give LSS the ability to extend services to students who used to be eligible for them before the cuts.
Kristina Flores, the student assistant for LSS, said that Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) and tutoring are currently only offered to Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) students, transfer students, and undergraduates who are in academic trouble. This referendum would change that.
Measure 30 would cost each student $6.64 per quarter and would produce $298,000 over three quarters. Of that sum, $98,600 would return to financial aid.
Lucy Rojas, special projects manager, explained how an organization or a group could get a referendum on the ballot.
She said there were three options. The first is petitioning. If students collect signatures from 10 percent of the student body, then they can get a measure on the ballot. The second option is getting the Student Union Assemby (SUA) to approve the measure. Finally, students can get two-thirds of each college government’s approval.
LSS students, tutors, and staff formed a committee to support Measure 30 and attempted to get sponsorship for the referendum through the SUA, but were unsuccessful. Instead, they got their referendum onto the ballot by collecting signatures.
“It was a lot of work,” Flores said. “Some people had never heard of [LSS].”
She and others had to collect 10 percent of the student population’s signatures, and did. When they were finished, they had over 1,500.
Kevin Ip, a subject tutor for mathematics, wrote in an e-mail, “[Measure 30 will affect] all students who need some attention in class and have difficulty getting by without having someone follow up with their work.”
Rojas said that the election results would be revealed around June 8, and was careful to add that there would be an open forum on May 9 at 7 p.m. in Classroom Unit 1, which will allow the referendum authors to present their measures and field questions from the public.
Rojas said, “If anyone would like to make a statement supporting or opposing any of the measures, they can e-mail them to me.”
_Lucy Rojas can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com. For more information on elections, visit http://www.elections.ucsc.edu._