SUA Spotlight is a weekly column that reports on the meetings of the Student Union Assembly, the governing body of UC Santa Cruz. The SUA meetings are held every Tuesday from 6-8 pm Bay Tree Bookstore Conference Room D and are open to the public.

At the April 21, 2009 Student Union Association (SUA) meeting, students from various grade levels and organizations came together to learn about the May 19th special statewide elections.

Victor Sanchez, External Vice Chair of SUA, gave a Powerpoint presentation describing the basic tenants of Propositions 1A through 1F, which will appear on the ballots. He specifically outlined Prop. 1A: State Budget. Changes California Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases “Rainy Day” Budget Stabilization Fund., a proposition that will appear on the California ballot as part of the 2009-2010 fiscal year California state budget and tax increase agreement.

California Prop. 1A seeks to increase the size of the state “rainy day” fund from 5 to 12.5 percent of the General Fund, a pool of money that is currently at zero in California. If passed, the proposition would strengthen the budget reserve, add new spending limits, and extend tax increases from 1 to 2 years–increases that would raise sales, car and state income taxes.

Despite the promises of Prop. 1A, Sanchez advocated for students to vote against the proposition. Rather than help close California’s budget deficit, he says that Prop 1A does the opposite by creating restrictions on the use of funds put into the state reserves and how unanticipated revenues can be used. [Attribute] This could have a potentially have adverse effects on University funding across California.

Other highlights from the April 22, 2009 SUA meeting:

The SUA Assembly voted against giving Delta Sigma Theta the $3,000 dollars they requested for their upcoming African Appreciation Day event. Instead, the assembly voted to amend the amount requested, instead appropriating $1,500 for the event.

Vice Chancellor of Housing Jean Marie Scott presented the new Capital Construction Plan to extend student housing by creating 3,000 new beds. The plan includes the extra housing that is in the process of being created in Porter, as well as extending renovations to create new dormitory housing up Chinquapin Road, located by Colleges 9/10 and Crown/Merrill.

United States Student Association (USSA) National Field Organizing Director Bill Schiebler spoke to SUA about the national call-in day to get the legislature to pass the federal budget. If the federal budget is passed, it will give more money to Federal Pell Grants, grants given to need-based and low-income undergraduate students and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to higher education.


Special California elections on May 19th [California Statewide Special Election]