Associated Students, Inc. tries to clear SIRF confusion

Associated Students, Inc. Vice President Logan Vournas reported Wednesday the confusion around the Student Involvement and Representation Fee, labeled as a $2 student advocacy fee on MyCSULB.

On ASI’s website, SIRF is listed as voluntary, but students have trouble opting out. Vournas reported that SIRF is system-wide among the California State Universities, which means individual campuses can’t opt out of it.  

Vournas said she is looking into informing students about what the fee is via media campaign.

ASI also addressed the issue concerning the status of international students and faculty in light of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

In Marvin Flores’ president’s report, which was read by Vournas in his absence, he said he will follow up with Jeet Joshee, associate vice president for International Education, about the status of international students.

Also, Cal State Long Beach Provost Brian Jersky was set to “release a letter to faculty about the status of our professors that are here on green card or visa,” Vournas said. The letter, which encouraged such professors to “consider international travel with great care,”  was distributed later in the day.

“I feel we can voice more support for undocumented immigrants,” Estefany Flores, College of Education senator.

Other issues were delineated in Flores’ report, one of which being that TAP cards will no longer be given out next year. Instead, students will receive a TAP sticker to put on their student ID. Original TAP cards will still be valid, though.

The replacement fee for the TAP sticker is $5. Vournas said that students who lose their ID and wish to replace both the ID and the sticker will have to pay $10.

A new teacher evaluation process will be tested in coming months, Vournas said.

“The university will be offering students the ability to be evaluating their professors online next semester,” said Vournas. “A select number of students are going to be testing how that process works.”

The proposed tuition hike was another issue discussed by the ASI. The CSU  Board of Trustees is considering a system wide 5 percent increase in tuition and will vote on it in March. Flores’ report said that he spoke to the BOT, advocating against the tuition hike.

“It was amazing to see how they barely made quorum,” read Vournas. A quorum is the minimum number of members needed to conduct business. “We do have some members on the BOT against the increase.”

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