As the Student Success Fee awaits approval by the California State University chancellor, Cal Poly Pomona’s Associated Students, Inc. has taken the initiative and reallocated funds in a way consistent with students’ voices.
Following a series of open forums in November, informing students about the Student Success Fee and a survey questionnaire allowing students to vote on whether the fee should pass, ASI decided to re-allocate funds. The reallocation took money from athletics and put it towards increasing high-demand class sections at CPP.
According to the student questionnaire, having the ability to enroll in classes needed to graduate was deemed very important by 97.08 percent of the students who took the survey.
On the other hand, funding for athletics was not considered important by 25.22 percent.
ASI President and Chair of the Fee Advisory Committee, Christopher Osuala, took these statistics into consideration when thinking about the allocation of the new fees.
Following the open forums, Osuala said the Student Success Fee then went through the Fee Advisory Committee before making its way to CPP President Michael Ortiz. This was when the committee made a collective effort to asses the student opinion.
“We decided to look at what the students said and noticed that a lot of students wanted more classes and they did not like how it [the funds] was going to athletics,” said Osuala. “So we took that into consideration, since we are the voice of the students...we felt it was our duty to make sure that more money went toward classes.”
Both Osuala and ASI Vice President Christine Hall assured that even though athletics will be receiving less funding from the Student Success Fee than originally planned, it will not be subject to an absolute denial of funding.
“So now athletics hasn’t been cut [entirely] they are still going to be receiving the same amount of funding that they were intended to receive, it is just that now instead of receiving that lump sum in three years it is going to come in four years so it does not really mess up their budget,” said Hall.
Prior to the decision to re-allocate the funds, the Student Success Fee was predicted to add an additional $74 per quarter to tuition. Originally, out of the $74, $11.25 was allocated for classes while $20.25 would be attributed toward athletics.
In the written comment section of the questionnaire, students were able to provide written feedback on what they wanted. Many students expressed that being able to get classes was their primary concern. Some felt the student voice would not even be considered and others disapproved with the initial allocations of funds.
Hall, who is also co-chair of the Fee Advisory Committee, assured that ASI’s primary concern was considering and accommodating what the students wanted the most.
“At the end of the day, we are students and if we cannot get our classes it affects us and we are not going to graduate,” said Hall. “As our role in student government, we felt that it was important really voicing that concern. I think we [students] can all agree that getting classes is important.”
If the fee is approved by the chancellor, the additional funding for classes can mean added sections of high demand classes, replacement of classroom equipment and new innovative approaches to teaching instruction.
The Student Success Fee is predicted to go in to effect during the fall quarter of 2014.
Currently, the Student Success Fee, along with the proposition to re-allocate funds, have already been approved by CPP President Michael Ortiz. However, the Student Success Fee has yet to be approved by Chancellor Timothy White.
Larrilyn Derry, a fifth-year finance real estate law major, commented on ASI’s actions in considering student opinions about re-allocating funds for more classes.
“I think putting it [the funds] toward more classes is a smarter thing to do than athletics,” said Derry. “I know people are into their athletics... I myself played softball for years, but I am going to school for school and not sports, I would hope that they would recognize that. But I think it’s cool that they let us vote on it and did not do whatever they wanted to do.”
The previous breakdown of the allocation of funds regarding the Student Success Fee is available online on the CPP homepage, however the revision of the re-allocated funds has yet to be published.
The questionnaire survey and written comments are also accessible for students to go and inform themselves.