[ Referendum


By Gilbert Davidson
Via email
November 9, 1997

I want students to know that they are not voting, as of right now, to charge themselves a fee. They are voting to make the administration accountable and to generate money to decrease our proposed fee through fundraising. At the last senate meeting, an amendment was proposed and accepted that states:

"The student fee board and the UA Administration shall review within one year from the passage of this referendum all fundraising efforts. If sufficient effort in fundraising exists, the student fee will begin. If however, the student fee board feels less than sufficient effort has been made in the fundraising; the fee will be reduced by an amount agreed upon by the student fee board."

The fee will not start until the Spring semester of 1999. At that time, the future students have the ability to control the fee dollars, apply more money to student programs in general, and continually put pressure on the administration to find ways to reduce the fee each successive year. We, the students, have the administration right where we want them. The administrators do not control ASUA nor its student leadership. I have been very carefull to understand this project, completely. We are voting to get this project underway now; not at some time when the administration is ready. We need to vote yes because it gives the students a voice in the entire project. I, as your elected representative, will have much less ground to stand on when I meet with the administration and tell them how to build this building and how to finance it. This referendum, the first year of it anyways, gives us ground to stand on and promote our interests, namely finding additional sources of money apart from tuition. Remember: Fees can go away and do, tuition will continue to rise and students have very little control.

I have heard some excellent ways to finance this building. I have also written them down and will fight to make sure they are completely looked into. Privatization, donors, alumni, memorial contributions, and faculty/staff contributions are all being done as of right now. If we (I will always support what the general student body wants) votes no, this building will still be built and we lose out because we are going to be charged throught academic backed bonds - your tuition dollars. Although tuition may not go up, some or all university projects may have to be cut or reduced. Its all about choices and our choice is where do we want to be? I advocate to be the person (students) who control's this project. What incentive does the adminisration have to do a major fundraising effort right now if they can get this project done with our tuition? NONE!! However, if we vote yes, we have a say for another year and then can withdrawal our offer of a fee.

Please, read the words on the referendum. They protect us and put us as the driver in this project. Let's work together to keep costs low while providing excellent opportunities for all. I have not forgotten my duties as student body president; I have only worked harder to protect our interests and prove to the administration that this is our university. I support the referendum, not necessarily a fee of $40. Vote yes on the referendum: November 18th and 19th to allow student control.

Gilbert Davidson
ASUA President