Students don’t have control over much. For years, the thing that ASPSU has valued is that students control over $8 million in student fee money, which pays for everything from the Smith Union, to athletics, to student groups. That authority is important – it’s important because it gives us a chance to shape our campus, our education and our experience.
For years, the administration at PSU and ASPSU have had a partnership in allocating the student fee – now, suddenly, it’s fallen apart. I’m writing today to ask everyone to work to repair it or a lot of students, student groups and student experiences will suffer.
The problems are fourfold:
?ﾌﾢ President Bernstine is threatening to reject the ASPSU student fee budget, but not really rejecting the budget – making it impossible for students to respond in their process.
?ﾌﾢ No one in the PSU administration will meet with or write down their concerns about the ASPSU budget process.
?ﾌﾢ Despite what the administration says, there actually were no problems with the ASPSU budget process at all.
?ﾌﾢ And this rift came out of the blue – the fee process lasts six months, the administration didn’t communicate any concerns about the budget process until the very last second. Dean Wendy Endress already admitted she was non-communicative from December to March with the Student Fee Committee (December through March ?” that’s the entire process!).
That’s a lot of things to go wrong all of a sudden, and it doesn’t make sense why. However, there exists a solution – here’s what I propose the administration do:
?ﾌﾢ President Bernstine, meet with us, tell us your concerns, we’ll answer your questions.
?ﾌﾢ Use our process, we set it up because it works, and to go outside it threatens our ability to partner up and communicate.
?ﾌﾢ Once we’ve answered your questions, approve our budget – we followed our rules, we’ve worked thousands of hours, we have a budget that we think is best for PSU.
To show we’re willing to play ball, ASPSU should take action too:
?ﾌﾢ The Student Fee Committee should unanimously re-approve their budget – not because they’ve done anything wrong, but to show the administration the student body is united and strong and that we’ll back the decisions we made once, over and over again.
?ﾌﾢ The administration needs to work with the Judicial Board using the process we set up.
?ﾌﾢ The administration should let student government decide what’s best for students, and let students work to make PSU a better place.
We want to work together, we need to work together but we can’t, we won’t, get pushed around. The student fee process is one of the few formal roles that students can use to shape their education and their PSU experience – as student leaders we have to assert our voice, make sure that it’s heard, and make sure we stand up for the rights we’ve won.