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.