Regardless of the student vote for the proposed Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) fee referendum, Cal Poly President Warren Baker has ultimate control over student fees.

According to the voter pamphlet, the fee is a Category 1 fee, which, in the California State University system, must be paid in order to apply to, enroll in or attend the university. According to The CSU Fee Policy (Executive Order 740), these fees may be increased, decreased or abolished by the university president.

“All fee referendums are advisory to the president. The only fees that the president cannot change are statewide fees and non-resident tuition,” said Victor Brancart, a Cal Poly business analyst who has worked on the referendum.

The CSU Student Fee Policy stated “the president may waive the referendum requirement if the president determines that a referendum is not the best mechanism to achieve appropriate and meaningful consultation.”

Brancart said he believed that it is likely that Baker will agree with the student vote.

“I haven’t seen the president go against a referendum in my time here,” Brancart said, “You’d have to ask him about a specific instance.”

Baker could not be reached for comment.

“President Baker has been sensitive toward student (votes),” said Larry Kelley, the vice president for academic and finance. “In the fee referendum for ASI last year, students did not endorse it and nor did he.”

However, not all students are opposed to the potential effects the policy may entail.

“If (Baker) has power to (change student fees), the vote itself seems pointless,” said Natasha Hansen, a business accounting junior. “I guess it’s to see our opinion, to know how (students) feel about it. It doesn’t bother me. I see the point.”

“(The president’s ultimate control) might be a good precaution,” said Liem Troung, a computer science senior. “Just in case the students vote for something (non-beneficial for the university).”

Mike Lavaglio, a biochemistry senior, drew on previous results to determine his opinion.

“I haven’t seen good outcomes from past (referendums),” he said. “The only way to tell is to see the effects later on.”

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