Letter to the Editor: Support Student-Governed Spaces

1444

Video by Banana Slug News and City on a Hill Press

Dear editors,

UC Santa Cruz is expected to take 300 additional students this upcoming fall. We have seen the impact of the increase of enrollment this year; CAPS, LSS and other services that help retain students are being affected. Our lounges, which serve as study and community spaces, are being converted into dorms to house the additional increase of students; where are students expected to go?

Students need and deserve spaces to study, organize and build community in order to succeed. Such spaces include the Student Union, Redwood Building and Student Media Center, the only student-owned and Student Governed Spaces (SGS) on campus. The Student Union is currently being seismic retrofitted, but after its opening this summer we expect these spaces to be highly utilized. And yet, the future of the SGS is up to the UCSC students this spring!

We, the Student Union Governance Board (SUGB) are running Measure 66: Support Student Governed Spaces, so that the SGS are able to maintain the governance, funding and functionality of the Student Union, Redwood Building and Student Media Center. We are a governance board comprised of all student representatives from college governments, MEChA, A/BSA, APISA, FSA, SANAI, Engaging Education, Student Media Council, the Bike Co-op and the Student Union Assembly (SUA).

The Student Life Facilities Fee that currently funds both SGS and OPERS facilities is set to end fall 2017, which is why we are asking students to support and vote yes on Measure 66!

Why? Students deserve better. Administration keeps increasing enrollment but does not increase the spaces for students! Students deserve to have a say in how their student fees are allocated, Measure 66 is one of a few measures initiated by students for the students! Students already paid for these facilities, let’s keep them open and functional for all students!

The SGS houses and supports over 160 student organizations. Some student groups with offices or production space in the SGS currently include: A/BSA, Alay, APISA, Banana Slug News, Chinquapin, City on a Hill Press, Engaging Education, EyeCandy, Film Production Coalition, Fish Rap Live!, FSA, Gaia Magazine, Leviathan Jewish Journal, Matchbox Magazine, MEChA, On The Spot, Rainbow TV, Red Wheelbarrow, SANAI, Scientific Slug, SCTV, SUA and TWANAS.

Measure 66 will not only keep the SGS open, but it will provide funding for maintenance and operations of the SGS. The measure has been calculated as the lowest possible by the SUGB. $6.70 will go toward maintenance, operations programs and reserves of the SGS. The SUGB voted on adding a Return-to-Aid component, which allocated $3.30 of Measure 66 to go directly to Financial Aid to assist students who are eligible.

So, when voting comes around, will you take the stance to vote yes and support student governed spaces?

Sincerely,

The Student Union Governance Board