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This week, the Editorial Board will be weighing in on the referenda to be voted on by the UCR student population in the upcoming senatorial elections.

ASPB Fee Referendum:

This year, ASPB is requesting a $10 increase in student funding for next year, along with two additional $10 increases in 2015 and 2018, respectively.  ASPB says that the additional funds will be used to sponsor more campus-wide events, like Spring Splash and Block Party, to keep those events free for students, to secure more relevant artists for concerts and to start hosting regular comedy shows.

The Highlander Editorial Board supports this referendum primarily because it would lead to a direct increase in the quality of UCR campus events.  In years past, ASPB has been criticized for its failure to attract fresh talent and plan diverse and engaging activities, but it has also had quite a funding gap to overcome.  The organization receives less money from students than most similar organizations in the UC, and the costs associated with putting on big shows and booking high-end performers have been steadily increasing in recent years.

Increased funding means more, better events as well as the assurance that these events will remain free to the student population.  It is important to remember that creating more exciting opportunities for students to engage with one another on a campus-wide basis isn’t just about making sure that everyone has a good time (although that is certainly part of it) – it is about encouraging a sense of community and instilling pride in our campus amongst the UCR student body.  That is why students should not hesitate to pass ASPB’s funding referendum this year.

The Subsidized Student Admission Plan (SSAP):

The UCR department of theatre is proposing a new student fee of $2.50 per quarter to subsidize the cost of undergraduate student admission to department performances. If passed, all undergraduate students will gain free admission to performances.

For only the meager price of $2.50 a quarter, this referendum is well worth student support. Free admittance to performances will not only be another step toward strengthening campus unity, but it will also enrich students’ experiences at UCR. Rather than go to the movies on a Friday night as always, students will now have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their peers in a production that took countless hours of preparation and hard work.

It is also important to note that the annual cost to students for the Subsidized Student Admission Plan would be less than the cost of a single ticket at the current price. Revenue generated from the fee would also pay for costs in direct support of theatre production. While not everyone may be interested in attending performances, supporting fellow students’ work and bolstering the artistic community on campus will only improve the quality of our university. For the fraction of the price of a Habanero’s burrito, students can make a change for the better at UCR.

ASUCR Amendment:

This year, ASUCR is proposing an amendment to their constitution that would give students more control over who is elected to certain high-ranking executive positions (i.e. president and vice president) each year.  As it stands, students elect senate members via a direct voting process each spring, but it is up to the elected senators (not the UCR student body) to come to a decision as to who will serve as president, vice president, and etc.

The amendment is undoubtedly the right move for ASUCR, an organization that is supposed to represent the entire UCR student body.  As such, it is their responsibility to ensure that student voices play as significant a role as possible in the election of board members.  This amendment represents an important extension of the democratic process here at UCR, and as such it should most assuredly be passed.