LSS Referenda Fails

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Although all measures for the campus spring elections failed due to low voter turnout, Measure 56, a referendum for increased funding to Learning Support Services (LSS), received 67 percent support. It would have passed if the voting threshold was met.

 The measure was an amendment to Measure 30, which currently has students paying $6.64 each quarter to the LSS Sustainability Fee. Measure 56 would have increased funding by $5.36 per student, per quarter, resulting in a total fee of $12 per student, per quarter.

“LSS put the measure on the ballot because we do not have enough funding to offer all of the services the students request and that we feel students are entitled to,” said LSS director Holly Cordova. “We are having serious budgetary difficulties and we asked the students for more funding because it was our last resort. We are not being given enough money by the university community to offer students the services they’re requesting.”

Jackson Hsu, a current Math 23 vector calculus MSI tutor, said the thought of not having LSS worries him, considering it provides students with both necessary study skills and friends.

“I’m concerned [about the referenda not passing],” Hsu said. “Not so much that I’m not going to have a job, but there might not be a lot of services for the students. That’s one of the problems about people doing well in college because they don’t know there are services available for them.”

Cordova said she and the rest of the staff sent emails to over 9,000 students and campaigned for two weeks to increase voter turnout. Despite this effort, 23.13 percent of undergraduates voted on the measure, just shy of the 25 percent threshold. Cordova said the 67 percent approval shows students value the services LSS provides.

 “I feel sad that I had to ask students to vote to pay their registration fee for LSS when I believe they already pay so much to attend UCSC,” Cordova said.

 Cordova, alongside the rest of the LSS staff, is confident there will still be tutoring programs next year, and is looking at the university to find more campus resources to fund LSS.

 “The drain on our services is high, so we can’t offer as much support as we would like, and therefore not every student gets to use the programs,” Cordova said. “We will still have the programs, we just aren’t able to expand to meet the needs of every student. But we won’t give up and say we’re not going to have programs next year, because we will.”