Referenda could increase student fees for fall 2013

Next week, the financial future of two student organizations will be decided.

Student Government (SG) elections will be held Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the UC Breezeway. The ballot includes two referenda that could increase the student activity fee by a total of $6.75 for fall 2013.

“We had a great voter turnout in the spring, and we hope we can carry that momentum into fall elections,” SG press secretary AJ Ricketts said.

Ibis Yearbook is looking to pass a referendum that will increase the student activity fee by $3 per student per semester.

The Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC) has slashed the yearbook’s budget to approximately half of what it was in 2003, editor-in-chief Sandra Montalvo said.

If the referendum passes, next year’s freshmen will pay $24 dollars over four years for four yearbooks, or $6 per book. Current students will pay even less.

If it fails, the staff will be forced to sell the books for $60 to $80, Montalvo said.

“People are eager to help out the yearbook, because it’s something they have a potential to be in,” she said.

Also on the ballot is a referendum that would allocate $3.75 to the Federation of Club Sports, which comprises 44 club sports.

Leading the effort is Brian Van Cleave, an office assistant at the Wellness Center who oversees the budgets of all club sports.

According to Van Cleave, the club sports had approximately $300,000 in expenses last year.

“After the end of last semester, I noticed that we were running a $20,000 deficit, and there were still more things that clubs wanted to do,” he said.

The clubs were forced to dip into their savings to cover the remaining amount. This problem will continue to grow as more sports join the federation and request funding, but it can be solved if the referendum passes, Van Cleave said.

“These sports often represent UM because often there isn’t a varsity team,” said Van Cleave, a member of TriCanes, the club triathlon team.