Student voices will be heard because of a new bill announced Feb. 23 by the Sacramento State University Student Actions Committee.
Assembly Bill 1965 will give greater representation to students when the California State University Board of Trustees votes on future tuition increases. Tuition across the CSU system has increased 191 percent since 2004 and cuts to programs can be seen at all CSU campuses.
Dr. Richard Pan, a University of California Davis professor who represents Sacramento State in the Assembly, introduced AB 1965.
“This bill will help give students, parents and everyone concerned with skyrocketing tuition greater confidence that the system of CSU governance is accountable and will prioritize student education first,” Pan said. “Ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees are among the strongest supporters of students, but usually have competing governmental duties at the State Capitol in Sacramento that prevent them from being able to travel all day to attend board meetings in Long Beach.”
AB 1965 would allow the ex-officio members, which include the governor, lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction, speaker of the assembly and CSU chancellor the ability to appoint a staff member to attend board meetings to vote on their behalf. The new bill will allow these members of the Board of Trustees to cast their votes that support students through representatives they have appointed to take their place. The CSU Board of Trustees is also made up of one representative from the alumni associations, 16 members appointed by the governor, one tenured CSU faculty member appointed by the governor and two CSU students appointed by the governor.
“AB 1965 has been introduced in the State Legislature and will be voted on in policy committees before going to a full vote in the State Assembly and the State Senate,” press secretary for Pan, Brian O’Hara said. “Students should call their local State Assembly Members and State Senators to let them know they support AB 1965 because it will promote student interests on the CSU Board of Trustees.”
The two students appointed by the governor each serve a staggered two-year term. They were appointed from nominees proposed by the California State Student Association.
“AB 1965 is a great example of what we can accomplish by really engaging the system and changing it for the better,” De’Anthony Jones, student and member of SAC, said.
AB 1965 will ensure that if the student with full voting powers is not present at a Board of Trustees meeting, the other student trustee would be able to vote on the issues.
“Having more Trustees on the Board who are against fee increases will hopefully result in fewer fee increases in the future,” O’Hara said.