ASUCI Legislative Council Mid-Quarter Highlights
Over the first few weeks of winter quarter, members of the Associated Students of University of California, Irvine (ASUCI) and the ASUCI Legislative Council released two documents to the public: a resolution on a fee proposal and a statement addressing the campus’ inadequacy in relation to delivering an expansion on mental health services
Legislative Council Objects to Adopting Proposed SAGE Fee
- ASUCI is the first association to formally object to the adoption of the Student Advocacy and Engagement (SAGE) proposal, a student opt-out fee that would fund the University of California Student Association (UCSA).
- The recent resolution decided on by Legislative Council members, R51-44, highlights that the SAGE proposal was adopted during a closed UCSA Board of Directors session meeting on June 27, 2015. In addition, no input from the general student population was taken into consideration until after the proposal was finalized.
- ASUCI urges other UC undergraduate and graduate student associations to adopt similar resolutions objecting to the SAGE fee.
- No mechanisms or proposals have been made to observe substantial transparency and make UCSA accountable if the SAGE-paying student associations are non-UCSA members, recognize its adoption on each UC campus, or establish if referenda would be held.
- ASUCI insists that UCSA modify the proposed SAGE fee to address their mentioned concerns or organize a funding model committee.
ASUCI Releases Online Statement Regarding Efforts for Mental Health Services Expansion
- Within the 2014-2015 academic year, student representatives supported a 5 percent annual increase in the Student Services Fee with the understanding that some funds would be allocated to UC mental health services expansion, which totals up to $17.4 million according to the UC Office of the President.
- Although there are funds to aid Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), there is no room on campus for such services’ implementation and expansion.
- Since the 1980s, UC Irvine’s Counseling Center has not been given a new, permanent space for operations.
- Since 2009-2010, the total number of clients served at UC Irvine’s Counseling Center has elevated 62 percent while campus enrollment has increased by only 11 percent; the need for mental health clinical services is, thus, rising faster than the rate of student enrollment.
- ASUCI holds their statement as a reminder that if enrollment is intentionally increasing in size, then appropriate accommodative efforts should be made to expand mental health services.