sheila sobchik

The $10 IRA fee increase proposal passed in an overwhelming fashion Thursday night in the UU with Provost Robert Detweiler announcing the 73 percent approval of the referendum.

Voter turnout was just under 2,000 with a total of 1,974 votes cast. Of this total, 1,447 voted “yes” and 527 voted “no,” according to official results.

Officials were expecting the referendum to pass but did not expect such a landslide.

“The results in favor of the referendum were far stronger than expected,” ASI President Tylor Middlestadt said. “In fact, with voter support over 70 percent, is more than in favor, it makes it a mandate.”

After the official results of the poll were released, supporters stressed that the acceptance of the referendum will benefit students.

“The real winners are the students; we now have enough money to strengthen the existing clubs and even add a few more,” Detweiler said. “The fact that the money is being distributed at the college level also makes the money more usable.”

During Detweiler’s presentation of the final poll results, he expressed his support for the referendum by stating that since fees have remained steady in recent years, students will benefit beyond the classroom.

“Now that it (the IRA proposal) has passed, it means stronger extracurricular activities since the fee hasn’t been increased for years,” Detweiler said. “It’s also positive because the fee includes an inflation factor and therefore, we won’t have to ask students for more money to make up for inflation in the future.”

The IRA fee increase will be in effect fall quarter and will increase the current IRA non-sports related fees from $6.98 per quarter to an inflation adjusted $17.24 per quarter for the 2006-07 fiscal year and to $17.89 per quarter for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

The IRA currently recognizes 62 student programs and represents 5,000 students that include but are not limited to the Cal Poly Rodeo, Rose Float, KCPR and the Mustang Daily. Up until yesterday, the fee has not been increased in 13 years.

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