Reject the Health Services Fee Increase: Fight For Real Solutions!
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We are calling on Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and Vice President Keith Humphrey to reject the proposed Health Services Fee Increase. We are also calling on Governor Jerry Brown and our elected officials in Sacramento to increase state funding for the California State University system.
While we desperately need improved Health and Counseling Services at Cal Poly, students are already charged enough to attend Cal Poly, and endlessly increasing fees is not the solution for a public university. While there is a crisis in our health center, there is also a crisis in the cost to attend Cal Poly.
Over the last 10 years, Cal Poly SLO has steadily implemented new fees and increased tuition. Tuition and Fees now cost more than double what they did for the 2007/08 Academic Year.
While the proposed fee increase has financial aid built into its disbursement model, any CSU student who has ever filled out a FAFSA knows that current financial aid coverage does not match our financial realities. A fee increase would further burden large swaths of low to middle income students who already do not qualify for enough aid.
Rather than increase the student health fee, we propose a few real solutions:
First, fight for increased support from the State of California. Increased state revenues could both directly fund the Health and Counseling center and free up existing fee revenue allocations, fees Cal Poly students already pay. The Cal Poly Student Success Fee, for example, costs students over $16M per year. Most of this fee revenue goes to hiring Professors and opening class sections, things the State of California should pay for. With more state funding, existing fee revenues could be allocated to improve our Health and Counseling services.
Second, divest from UPD and invest in Health and Counseling Services. Rather than pay for increased policing on our campus, we could reallocate our funds to support the physical and mental well being of our students. Investing in our communities health will lead to a decrease in the need for police in the first place.
Third, redirect newly generated revenues from alcohol sales on campus to counseling services.
Fourth, hire fewer administrators and decrease administrative pay. Instead, invest in our communities and in Health and Counseling services. Cal Poly has created many new administrative positions in recent years. Further, a 2017 California State Auditor report found that Cal Poly increased the pay of administrators without justification, and called on our campus to exercise more restraint in approving executive pay increases--which 70 managers on Cal Poly’s campus received this year.
Finally, while this is being called a Healthy Fee Adjustment, we believe increasing fees is very unhealthy for our students, many of whom work more than 20 or 40 hours a week to pay for basic needs, and are food insecure and/or homeless. It is also unhealthy for our health center workers, many of whom are increasingly relegated to underpaid, part-time, contingent work that erodes their ability to advocate for patient rights or provide treatment to their fullest ability.
While the "Alternative Consultation Process" has ended, we believe further action must be taken to make sure the student voice is heard! Your signature will be delivered to Building One and Sacramento at the end of this petition drive. More details on this delivery will be shared through Cal Poly Students for Quality Education's Facebook Page in the coming weeks and months.
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