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referendum #2|special election fall 2012

Undergraduate Student Activities Fee Referendum

In recent years, the Student Activities Fee funding available to support the student experience has been increasingly constrained resulting in less resources to support campus programming, Student Government-recognized organizations, campus-wide initiatives, and special allocation funds available to undergraduate students.

The fee supports programming such as Spring & Fall concerts, Carnival's Booth & Buggy competitions, 1000plus, Greek Sing, Bhangra in the Burgh, Scotch 'n' Soda shows, WRCT's radio programming, The Tartan, club sports, Emergency Medical Services, Lunar Gala, TEDx, a capella concerts, alternative spring break trips, countless cultural organizations, Undergraduate Student Senate’s initiatives and special allocations, and so much more.

Over the past 6 years, the number of student organizations has almost doubled, with an average increase of 10% more organizations per year. The fee, tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has only increased on average 2.4% per year, leading to cutbacks and the stifling of creative innovation due to our inability to fund new & existing ideas & initiatives. The gap between the funding that organizations request and what can be approved has grown from 30% to nearly 50%, and it is likely this trend will continue as more organizations are formed.

Additionally, organizations have reported fundraising harder than ever before, but despite their extraordinary efforts, their income streams have not been able to grow, as more organizations further saturating an already saturated market has minimal impact. Coupled with the reduction in funding from departments and other university income sources due to budget constraints, groups are being forced to do with less, with 74 groups having their budget slashed by 5% or more this past year alone.

In order to offset these cuts, The Student Body Vice-President for Finance, in consultation with Student Government Executive Committee, would like to recommend a 25% increase in the Student Activities Fee to the Board of Trustees, who reviews and approves fees for students. Beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, the Activities Fee as proposed would increase from $97 per semester to $121 per semester, enabling $272,000 of additional resources to be available to the Carnegie Mellon undergraduate student community.

Do you support recommending a 25% increase in the Undergraduate Student Activities Fee to provide additional funds for Student Government-recognized organizations and other extracurricular events and activities on campus?