By Sonia Lemus
The Campus Fee Advisory Committee is a committee that meets on a need basis once a semester. They decide to increase fees related to courses and the campus. It does not deal with fees realated to tuition.
“Tuition based issues are decides by the CSU Board of Trustees, not the Campus Fee Advisory Committtee,” said Alex Domiguez former Associated Students Inc. president.
So, the committee would not meet to discuss how tuition fees will increase due to the recent budget cut from federal aid to the CSU system, but they would still have them in consideration when deciding wether to approve additional fees.
Some of the members of that committee are: CSU Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell, Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas Wallace, Vice Provost David Schecter, and ASI President Mariela Gomez.
However, Gomez said she is not fully aware of the committee. She says she has heard of it, but is not sure what the committee is.
“I find it very interesting that not even the president is informed about it [the Campus Fee Advisory Committee]. How much presence does that committee have? How can we as students know more about it if even the president doesn’t know,” said Kelsey Mende, a pre-nursing major.
The Campus Fee Advisory Committee was created because of Executive Order 1102, which states, “The president shall establish a Campus Fee Advisory Committee comprised of student, faculty, staff, and administrative representatives to provide advice to the president.”
Wallace said, “Students [in the committee] are selected by the ASI president.”
The executive order also calls for the majority of the voting members of the committee to be students. However, with the ASI president herself not being fully aware of the committee, it brings forth the question of who is representing students in that committee.
“It is just very shocking because the students are supposed to be ones that vote, and ASI represents us, and for them not to know, it is just shocking,” said nursing major Ana Barajas.
The committee gets request to add fees to a course or the campus. If there are no fees then the committee doesn’t meet. However, even if there is just one fee request made, the committee will meet just to discuss that one fee, said Wallace.
“Once those [fee requests] are made then we try to find a time that is meetable for the members of the committee,“ said Wallace.
This semester, CSUB will be holding a student referendum to decide if students want to contribute to an expansion of the Student Union and a new aquatics center.
Wallace said that the Campus Fee Advisory Committee does not play a part in student fee referendums.
Dominguez also said, “A referendum, which is different than a fee that would go through the Campus Fee Advisory Committee, a referendum goes directly to the students and allows them to decide.”
However, the Executive Order states, “The president in consultation with the student body association and the faculty senate shall develop guidelines applicable to the student fee referendum process designed to assure that the referendum is open, fair, and objective.”
It also says the committee will make pamphlets with information regarding the pros and cons of the referendum, and that all this information must be made available to students 30 days prior to the commencement of the voting period for the referendum.
The executive order also states that a referendum is for advising the committee, unless it is a student success fee, then the referendum must be approved for the fee to even be considered.
There is a schedule provided online that shows the deadlines for when a fee should be submitted and the potential dates the committee will meet, if a fee was submitted.
The last meeting of the Campus Fee Advisory Committee was for the Spring 2017 semester, the committee did not have a meeting this fall, said Isabel J. Gonzalez, the budget coordinator for student affairs.
Fee requests for the Campus Fee Advisory committee were due February 2, according to Gonzalez.
There were no requests made, so the committee will not be meeting this spring semester either.