Senate calls for fee, success program

Representing students at Sonoma State University in the form of a governance body stands the Associated Students who meet Fridays at 1 p.m. in the Student Center. The process of creating, writing, editing and approving resolutions by the Associated Students is one that goes about to ensure that the student voice at Sonoma State is not only heard but also understood.

During the meeting on Friday, the second resolution involved the California State Student Association more commonly referred to as CSSA. The organization is planning to implement a Student Involvement and Representation Fee or SIRF. The intention exists that the fee will be consistent through all of the California State University campuses costing students a total of $4 per academic year.

The funding model was presented to the CSU Board of Trustees and hasn’t been approved yet. Students will have the option to pay or decline to pay the fee every semester; however, the fee is in place to enable increased student involvement. This cost is not the same thing as a success fee and students have the opportunity to “opt out.”

“It takes a certain amount of patience and finesse to ensure the proper meaning is understood,” said Associated Student President Anthony Gallino, guiding senators through revisions of the resolution in question, “tone makes all of the difference.”

The California State Student Association is recognized by the university system as an advocate for quality and affordable education for all students. The non-profit organization was founded by students and is currently financially supported by the CSU; however, with the addition of the new fee, the association will be considered more independent.

“Writing resolutions is almost similar to writing an essay and voting on each change to the process,” said Annie Green, arts and humanities senator of Associated Students in explaining the process of passing these documents.

The resolution by Associated Students requested a more detailed expenditure list from the association further inclining for a more transparent budget, as the allocation of money was unsure.

Representative with CSSA, Bernadette Butkiwicz assured senate members that more information would be presented at the next meeting.

After a period of “wordsmithing” and contemplation of the requests, the resolution was passed unanimously.

The meeting began with a resolution to thank the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the program “Ticket to Success.” The program is completely run by student athletes and is centered around spending a day out of the year with local school children, completing activities and taking a tour of the campus.

“This program creates connections between SSU Students and Sonoma County and I think that is very important,” said Gallino during the meeting.

Established in February 2013, the program allows more than 250 athletes to work with hundreds of children. Each day ends with children standing on the commencement lawn making a promise to graduate from college.

The meeting concluded with reports from senators as well as a budget update and a review of election bylaws.