“3.6 All voluntary and optional fees that are brought up in front of the Geoduck Student Union to be put on the ballot for a vote must be opt-in fees. No optional fee can be put on the ballot that is an opt-out fee. If a petition is proposed to the Geoduck Student Union with an opt-out fee it will be rejected until it’s been changed to an opt-in fee. For amendment to be overturned, Geoduck Student Union representatives must vote with a 2/3 majority in favor of discarding the amendment.”
The GSU passed this amendment with the best of intentions, perceiving a lack of transparency in opt-out fees, and weary that there was too little voter participation to make the fees fully legitimate. However, there was little discussion on the wider implications the amendment would have, and no student involvement in the short time (within one meeting) that the amendment was considered. As a result there has been a certain backlash at the last few GSU meetings from concerned students and student groups worried about infringements on student power, and angry they were not informed of the change until after the fact.
It is my personal opinion that banning all fees but opt-in fees limit’s the options available to students on funding their own initiatives, and limits student power. I think the decision should be rescinded so that the community can work towards creating new policy that can be productive for all without limiting student rights.
The GSU will be having their weekly meeting once again on Wednesday, providing a chance to hopefully resolve this issue and move forward. I would encourage all of you who read this to come to the GSU Meeting on Wednesday at 1:30 in SEM II B1105 to contribute to this discussion in whatever way you can and would wish to, or to simply observe the happenings and civically engage. It’s important to show the GSU that the Evergreen Community is interested in this issue and wants to work towards good solutions to election lethargy, student-government communication, and transparency without or even regardless of changing the funding system.
If there is not a big enough response from the community on this issue, then this amendment may remain in place for an incredibly long period of time. Whatever your conclusions on the matter – which such a long lasting and significant change to Evergreen, there should be wide student involvement in the decision!
Forest Hunt firstname.lastname@example.org