As the 2023 UC Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly election cycle heats up, the UCSC community eagerly anticipates the results of six opinion polls and one ballot measure.
The ballot measure asks for significant funding to be made available to further support student organizations. It asks each student voter to increase their quarterly fees by a small amount. In order for any measure to pass, it needs a 25 percent student voter turnout, with the majority voting yes.
Previously known as Measure 45, the Sustainability Office Fee was originally established in 2010 and terminated in 2020. If it is approved this year, it will increase the current $2.75 fee to $3.00 to provide paid on-campus job opportunities for undergraduate students, supporting advancement of the Campus Sustainability Plan.
It would support professional development opportunities and fund the Sustainability & Social Justice Inter-Organizational Retreat, which serves approximately 100 students annually.
There are six opinion polls that will be featured on the ballot. These include “Right Livelihood College,” “Tech4Good Collaboratory Funding to Expand Student Opportunities to Work on Real-World Public Interest Technology Projects,” “Measure 11,” “Students for Better Transportation,” “Slug Life Productions Board,” and “Support for KZSC.”
The purpose of these opinion polls is to gauge student interest in these issues and potentially make them measures on future ballots.
The Right Livelihood College
“The Right Livelihood College” opinion poll asks if the voter would support a small quarterly fee for the Right Livelihood College (RLC), an organization that connects students with activists who have won the RLC award for their achievements. The aim is to increase student engagement with the program. The fee would be directed towards funding student activism through workshops, training, projects, and research.
“Tech4Good Collaboratory Funding to Expand Student Opportunities to Work on Real-World Public Interest Technology Projects” is the second opinion poll. It asks voters if they would be willing to contribute a small fee towards the Tech4Good Collaboratory, a program that gives undergraduates the opportunity to work on technological projects and programs in order to learn more about design, research, and web development.
The third opinion poll is an amendment to Measure 11, which was implemented in 2003 to provide funding for the Theater Arts Department. Measure 11 ensures that all students at UCSC can attend Theater Arts performances for free. However, due to rising costs of production materials, the Theater Arts Department wants to make an amendment to Measure 11 that would increase the fee from $2.00 a quarter to either $5.00, $7.00, or $10.00.
Students for Better Transportation
“Students For Better Transportation” is the fourth opinion poll. This measure is a response to student concerns surrounding UCSC’s Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) student fees, ticketing, and providing sufficient student parking. It asks students if they agree that the UCSC administration should make amendments by providing more bus and shuttle services for students, more parking, and being more responsive to student concerns.
Slug Life Productions Board
“Slug Life Productions Board,” the penultimate opinion poll, is asking for students to rate how satisfied they are with existing programming on campus, and if they would be willing to vote for a fee measure to further support them in the next election. Slug Life Productions Board (SLPB) organizes on-campus entertainment through its five divisions: Concerts, Special Events, Contemporary Culture, Marketing, and Leadership. If the majority of voters agree to support the fee, then SLPB will place a measure on the ballot for the 2023-2024 school year through a line item within the College Student Government Fee.
Support for KZSC
The last opinion poll is “Support for KZSC.” Much like the unapproved 2022 ballot Measure 77, this opinion poll seeks to compensate student staff at KZSC, the UCSC college radio station. For Measure 77 in 2022, 76.56 percent of students voted yes to support student salaries at KZSC, however the required 25 percent student voter turnout was not met, with only 23.5 percent of students voting.
In terms of management structure, KZSC operates under the supervision of an executive committee consisting of five student positions that receive compensation. Alongside this committee, there is a governing board of 25 student and community volunteers. The goal of this measure is to evaluate student support for a salary for all KZSC staff.