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Budget update -- student fee referendum results

NOTE: The following e-mail message was sent by President Robert A. Corrigan to SFSU faculty and staff on March 15, 2004

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

On March 2 and 3, this University experienced one of the most remarkable and positive actions by our students that I have seen in my 16 years at San Francisco State. Four times as many students as have ever voted in a campus election -- 8587, more than one-third of our enrollment -- turned out to express their views in the Student Fee Referendum. By substantial margins, they voted in favor of a new Academic Instruction Fee, a new Career Center Fee and an increase in the Student Health Services Fee Center to support Counseling & Psychological Services. They narrowly defeated an increase in the Athletics Fee.

Actual tallies per fee were:

Proposed Fee Increase
Total Votes
Yes #
Yes %
No #
No %
Academic Instructional
Career Center
Athletics and Intramurals
Student Health Services

I applaud our students' willingness to make some very difficult choices. As you see, nearly three-quarters of those who voted chose to tax themselves to support the academic program. They also supported the Career Center and Student Health Services fees by commanding margins. And they did so, I believe, with full knowledge of the fee increases recommended by the Governor. A post-election computer check of the categories of student voters showed that the turnout was proportional to enrollment at each class level. We can conclude from this that support for the three fees was across the board.

I am accepting the advisory referendum results. CSU policy requires that the two new fees -- Academic Instruction and Career Center -- receive the chancellor's approval before they can be implemented. Accordingly, I have written to Chancellor Reed to make the case for each fee and to request authority to implement them. The Student Health Services fee, as an increase in an already-approved fee, requires only my approval, which I have given.

Many of you have asked about the future of our athletics program, given the defeat of the fee increase request. That is a complex subject, worthy of much discussion. I will open that discussion in a separate message, which you can expect to receive later this week.

Our referendum has belied the myth of the commuter campus as a place where students are largely indifferent to and uninvolved in campus matters. I hope that you share my pride in our thousands of students who informed themselves and cast their votes in the referendum. Their interest bodes well for the University's future.

-- Robert A. Corrigan, president

Robert A. Corrigan President


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications