With just one day left before the advisory vote on the proposed Student Success Fee, 20 students attended the last of the administration-sponsored open forums Tuesday.
University Union Advisory Board member and agricultural business sophomore Jason Colombini was among those in the audience. Colombini was the lone attendee at a forum earlier in February and said he has seen a shift in feeling toward the fee since he last went.
“This time, I’m glad there’s a lot of students there, and I hope they’re getting some good answers out of it,” he said. “It kind of shows that students want to be informed about it.”
This last forum concluded more than one month of presentations about the fee from associate vice provost Kimi Ikeda. Low attendance was a theme throughout the forums in University Union, room 220, with only one other forum’s attendance making it into the double digits.
“I’m hoping the students who are going to be voting are informed,” Ikeda said before Tuesday’s forum. “We’ve done what we could to get students educated on the issue.”
Some of the attendees at yesterday’s forum were critical of the fee’s allocation of funds after it is approved. One student questioned Ikeda several times about a “worst-case scenario” where the committee allocating the fee engages in corrupt practices against the will of the students. Ikeda said all spending would be subject to audits, just like all other university finances are.
Despite some of these confrontational encounters that occurred throughout the presentations, Ikeda said she has enjoyed working with students and getting their feedback on the Student Success Fee.
“On one hand, I’m excited (for the presentations to be over),” she said. “But I’ve really enjoyed interacting with students through this. That’s something I don’t get to do all that often, and it’s been nice. I want the students to know that we do want their opinions. We do want to hear from them.”
Students will vote in an advisory referendum to Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong today between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Students can vote in their My Cal Poly Portal, and those who vote in favor of the fee will be given the opportunity to list their priorities for where the money should be spent.
After the vote, Armstrong will make a decision whether to recommend the fee to California State University (CSU) chancellor Charles Reed. CSU spokesperson Liz Chapin said Reed has given no indication on whether or not he would accept a recommendation from Armstrong.
Armstrong plans to make a decision soon after the results of the student vote are in, Armstrong’s chief of staff Betsy Kinsley said Tuesday. Armstrong and Reed are scheduled to be in Washington, D.C. together through Friday but do not have plans to meet specifically about the Student Success Fee.