ASI Fee Increase Denied

Christopher+Koo+%28left%29+and+Aaron+Castaneda+%28right%29+listen+to+Cal+State+LA+community+members+during+a+Board+Members+meeting+on+Nov.+14.+%0A
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ASI Fee Increase Denied

Christopher Koo (left) and Aaron Castaneda (right) listen to Cal State LA community members during a Board Members meeting on Nov. 14.

Christopher Koo (left) and Aaron Castaneda (right) listen to Cal State LA community members during a Board Members meeting on Nov. 14.

Photo by Erick Brigham

Christopher Koo (left) and Aaron Castaneda (right) listen to Cal State LA community members during a Board Members meeting on Nov. 14.

Photo by Erick Brigham

Photo by Erick Brigham

Christopher Koo (left) and Aaron Castaneda (right) listen to Cal State LA community members during a Board Members meeting on Nov. 14.

Joshua Letona, News Editor

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A fee increase that Associated Students, Inc. has been weighing for months did not make it past a board vote. During a meeting last Thursday, the referendum was voted down, relieving students of an incremental increase in ASI fees.

According to Vice President for Finance Christopher Koo the proposal would have increased fees over 10 years: “Every student pays $53.75 a year… over 10 years, assuming an average of two percent [increase] a year, the fee will be $65.52. Assuming four percent, the fee will be $79.56.”

The referendum has been part of a months long process during ASI finance meetings. It received pushback from Golden Eagle Justice and other student organizations. In a meeting on Nov. 14, members of the social justice group spoke against the referendum. 

They listed demands they had for ASI, starting with the disapproval of the referendum. There were many questions about where the funds would be going, even from ASI members.

“So I think I asked the first time this was presented: where are these fees going to? There still isn’t a clear answer. We have to pay for graduation fees which I think is ridiculous. As far as ASI fees, if we increase fees and don’t know where they’re going to, it’s going to cause a problem,” said Wendy Romero, election and outreach commissioner.

In any case, ASI President Aaron Castaneda had said before the vote he doubted the referendum would pass.

“I recommended to the…  committee to deal and suspend the current referendum altogether for our organization,” said Castaneda.

He added, “I don’t support the fee increase… I can’t speak on behalf of the board but I’m sure they’ll agree to end the referendum.”

Some have questioned how ASI was spending its money, especially when the budget revealed the price tag of $12,000 for two iMac computers. Koo said the computers were needed because their current iMacs take a considerably long time to start up.

“Our current iMac pros are taking close to 45 minutes to start up, so our graphics team leaves them on overnight, so they don’t have to wait in the morning for them to start up and get started on their work,” said Koo.

With the referendum dead, ASI said it will revisit funding every April and May.