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CSULB organization SQE fights fees

Students For Quality Education said it is against all student fees and plans to give presentations to various classes explaining why club members are against fee increases.

“Student fees are detrimental and if students have to come up with this money that could be someone’s rent or pay for one week,” Maria Lopez, a SQE student organizer and Chicano and Latino studies major said.

Students will pay $344 in fees if the referendum passes in February. According to the ASI website the fee increase will fund construction of the University Student Union plus the overall operations of the USU and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

SQE club members intend to inform students about the referendum and why they should vote “no” in February, according to an email sent to California State University, Long Beach professors and lecturers.

According to SQE’s “Reclaim the USU” pamphlets distributed at Week of Welcome, SQE “works toward securing a fully-funded CSU that eliminates the need for student fees.”

“If I paid for school myself I wouldn’t want the increase,” Natalie Yeliokumson, a sophomore pre-nursing major said. “If it were $100, I would be willing to pay, but $165 is pushing it.”

“It Starts With You” pamphlets distributed by ASI state that students should pay for the expansion and renovation of the USU instead of other projects because the “fees by law cannot be used for academic facilities or resources.”

According to the California Faculty Association, 35 percent of the university’s operating expenses directly support the “primary mission of the university… instruction,” as stated in the SQE pamphlet.

The ASI website states that the construction project is expected to take four to five years. If the referendum passes the “fee will go into effect in phases.”

“The $165 will be applied in increments, so students won’t be slapped with a $165 increase,” said April Rose Dela Cruz, an ASI social media specialist. “Once [the USU is] built the $165 increase will not go away.

“The CSU system was built as a school for the people,” Lopez said. “If you takeaway student fees, tuition is about $2,000. [The fees] are ridiculous.”

Lopez said SQE is not intending to be “students vs. students.”

“We don’t want to be pitted against ASI,” Lopez said.

“We pay so much already,” Kate Rolls, a senior English education major said. “Most people who use it live on or near campus.”

According to the ASI website, the cost of major repairs exceeds available operating funds. The website also states that CSULB student leaders “decided to recommend that the student body have an opportunity to decide how the USU should proceed.”

Students can vote online from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26 via a link in an email from CSULB.

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