ASCLUG proposes five amendments

For the first time in over 10 years, the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government has proposed amendment changes to the university’s constitution. These include raising student fees to accommodate bigger scale programs and extending constitution voting rights to the student body. Each of the five proposed changes will be put in an online Blackboard ballot on Feb. 22 and approved via majority student vote.

The projected alterations include new requirements for ASCLUG executive positions, omitting a redundant step in bill passing, more direct student voting, a raise in student fees and a more streamlined process for clubs.

“Our Executive Cabinet really came together and thoroughly reviewed it,” ASCLU President Evan Carthen said. “This was about a two month process.”

Each branch of student government,  conducted a plethora of surveys and filtered through student opinions to find the best ways to bring students what they need.

“Some things are valid to us, other things aren’t and some things we added,” Daniel Lacey, ASCLU Senate Director, said.

Their main goal was to make the constitution more relevant to Cal Lutheran today.

“I’ve really been impressed with how the senate and [the Executive Cabinet] and [Programs Board] have really handled the issues. They really spent a lot of time looking at and discussing each item one by one,” Scott Silverman, assistant dean of students and director of Student Life, said.

Lacey said many clubs and organizations come to senate to ask for increased funding, therefore, one of the proposed changes in Article X would be a raise in student fees, or an increase in the $250 each student pays yearly.

Breaking down the fee, Student Life receives 28 percent, clubs and organizations 25 percent, Programs Board 20 percent, Senate 10 percent, Executive Cabinet 9 percent, Multicultural Programs 5 percent and Forrest Fitness Center 3 percent. The fee increase would raise the amount of money per percentage.

“Students who attended CLU in 2005 paid the same amount in student fees as students in 2015,” Amber Trujillo, ASCLUG Programs Board Director, said in an email interview.

“Every year, the senate runs out of money,” Lacey said. “Everyone is worried about money, and here we have set up two options that have no bigger increase than five percent per year.”

Option A states that there will be a one-time $12.50 increase in student fees, bringing the total to $262.50. Option B would be a $10 increase for the next 5 years, the fee total up to $300 by 2021. Option C would keep the current $250 amount, meaning the student body voted against the proposed increase.

“It’s a small amount with a huge benefit in the long run. That could bring in huge programming,” Lacey said. 

When the student fee of $250 was established, there was no Ullman Commons, the Forrest Fitness Center had just been completed and new residence halls had just been opened. Cal Lutheran has grown since the fee’s establishment.

“The fee change in itself would really help to support that growth,” Silverman said.

In addition to the fee change, there is also a proposed change to Article IX. If passed, Senate and Programs Board will only be allowed to make constitutional changes with a majority vote from the student body. This is a new addition in which students would be able to express their viewpoints and be more civically engaged.

“If students can leave here feeling like they were embodied and had a role to play in the decisions that are made, then in some small way, I feel like we’ve done our job,” Silverman said.

“[The constitution] is for everyone. It’s for all the students of Cal Lutheran,” Carthen said. “We want to put it in writing that yes, your vote does matter.”

However, for junior Vivian Gibson, student government has not been reaching out to the entire student body in some of the ways she had hoped.

“It’s not very present in everyday student life,” Gibson said. “I didn’t even know we had a constitution to change.”

Gibson said she said she hopes to see greater government engagement with students in the future.

“Even little things like having a newsletter that would be sent out,” Gibson said. “Just keeping the student body in the know with what’s happening with the student government.”

Molly Strawn
Staff Writer
Published February 10th, 2016