Update Nov 12 9:51 p.m.
Because she was unsure if she could request the California State Student Association (CSSA) to suspend their rules in order to vote on her Student Success Fee resolution this weekend instead of at the next meeting, Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) President Joi Sullivan decided not to present her resolution at the CSSA conference this past weekend.
Instead, she will draft a letter and present it to the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees at the CSSA meeting in Long Beach next week. The letter will have the same content as the resolution she intended to present.
She is still pursuing other ASI and Associated Student (AS) presidents to sign the letter.
Sullivan clarified the letter does not take a stance for or against Student Success Fees. The letter asks the Board to allow campuses to maintain local control of the fees, decide how funds are allocated and asks for student involvement in the fee process, Sullivan wrote in an email to the Mustang News.
Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President Joi Sullivan has a to-do list on the white board in her office. On it are the names of 22 California State University (CSU) ASI presidents she intends to call before the end of the week.
But she’s not phoning her fellow student body presidents just to chat.
Sullivan is calling to discuss a resolution she’ll propose on Saturday at the California State Student Association (CSSA) meeting, which brings together ASI presidents from all 23 CSUs for two days to address issues affecting the campuses.
“It’s a resolution regarding Student Success Fees, very much similar to the one our ASI Board of Directors passed two weeks ago,” Sullivan said. “It really highlights the idea of Student Success Fees as something that’s decided at the campus level versus at the state level and board of trustees level.”
If the state puts restrictions on how fees are spent or allocated instead of letting the campuses decide, there could be negative implications for Cal Poly’s Student Success Fee, Sullivan said.
“There was some talk over restricting the use of these fees on faculty,” Sullivan said. “That’s a pretty serious topic, so that was really the main point of this resolution.”
For Cal Poly, more than half of this year’s $14 million Student Success Fee budget was spent on hiring faculty.
According to the President’s Office, Student Success Fee funds enabled Cal Poly to hire up to 38 new faculty members each year, resulting in 39,000 additional class seats and 1,120 class sections.
Armstrong said faculty was the base of a good education.
“I share the vision of the students that the bulk of the funds has gone to supporting our faculty and supporting Learn By Doing,” Armstrong said in an interview with Mustang News last month. “We can’t have student success without faculty and staff success.”
Sullivan also saw the importance of having enough faculty on campus. According to her, the things students hope for in school — good professors, classes and getting a job — all depend on faculty.
“If you’re going to pay this extra money, where do you want it to go to?” Sullivan said. “Faculty. It connects to student success, no problem.”
A new resolution
Sullivan’s draft resolution states that CSSA stands for complete transparency and integrity in all aspects of proposing, enacting and allocating Category II fees.
“The use of Category II fees should be left up to the discretion of the individual campus, including but not limited to the hiring of faculty,” the draft resolution states.
The resolution is similar to one approved by Cal Poly ASI’s Board of Directors two weeks ago, but with broader themes that Sullivan hopes will resonate with other CSU ASI presidents.
“This is also interesting because you’re looking at campuses with very different climates, different views on things,” Sullivan said. “You want to be strategic about resolution writing, so I didn’t really include everything Cal Poly wrote in ours because that’s for Cal Poly.”
Normally, resolutions may not be voted on until the meeting after they are proposed. In Sullivan’s case, that would mean she would need to wait until January — but that’s too late, she said.
Sullivan will propose the resolution on Saturday. She must receive a two-thirds vote to approve suspending all CSSA rules and procedures in order for the resolution to be voted on this weekend instead of at the following meeting. If the CSSA Board of Directors decides to put Sullivan’s resolution up for vote, she then needs a majority to pass it.
Other issues being discussed at the meeting include the potential $4 Student Involvement Representation Fee, which would provide sustainable funding for CSSA, and Executive Order 1068 regarding club leadership.
ASI executive cabinet member and biology sophomore Camille Lethcoe plans to bring the executive order up for discussion during open forum on Saturday at 9 a.m.
“This weekend, I will be talking about Executive Order 1068 regarding open club leadership and why each club should have the power to choose their own leaders without following mandated rules,” Lethcoe wrote in an email to Mustang News. “It is not just an issue on our campus, but on every other CSU campus.”
Sullivan encourages students who wish to voice their concerns about any CSU-wide issue to attend the CSSA meetings this weekend, held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday in the Recreation Center’s Multi-Activity Center (MAC).
“Come speak for two minutes and leave,” Sullivan said. “It doesn’t take that much time, but your voice is heard and it could spark some conversations. Some really good ones.”