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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Vote yes on the Basic Needs and Services Referendum

The future of ASUCD and our campus’ culture rests in your hands

Vote yes.

The nine members of the Editorial Board unanimously agree: Students should vote yes on the Basic Needs and Services Referendum on the ballot for this quarter’s ASUCD elections, taking place from Feb. 18 to 21. The referendum, which would increase the ASUCD base fee for the first time since 1979, is the only remaining solution to the $500,000 deficit the association faces.

ASUCD is more than just our student government. It runs everyday resources, such as the CoHo and The Pantry. It is KDVS and The California Aggie. It hosts beloved events such as Picnic Day and the Whole Earth Festival.

There are two thresholds that must be met for the Basic Needs and Services Referendum to pass. First, 20% of all undergraduates must vote, and second, 60% of those voting must vote “yes.” Even if 19.9% of students show up to vote and 100% of them vote yes, the measure will fail. With ASUCD voter turnout generally hovering around 6%, voting is the first step to pass this referendum.

If this referendum fails, the culture of our university will be forever changed, and many of these campus staples could either disappear or become unrecognizable. Non-essential services could be cut and funding for remaining units would decrease drastically. Over 1,400 student jobs are in jeopardy, as available funds for wages diminish while the minimum wage continues to increase — with career staff hired in place of student employees. Prices could rise at places like the CoHo and the Bike Barn as the association struggles to maintain the few services and student jobs it can.

We want students to know that this planned fee increase is student-led, student-run and will benefit students directly. This is not a tuition increase — all monies collected by this increased fee would stay at UC Davis and students have all the say in how the funds are spent. Additionally, 25% of all revenue from the fee will automatically be invested into providing more financial aid for students. 

What we are advocating for is a $26 per quarter increase to the ASUCD base fee, which has remained stagnant at $8 per quarter since 1979. This would total just $102 per year, still leaving UC Davis with one of the lowest student government base fees in the entire UC system. For example, students at UC Santa Barbara pay over $600 per year for their ASUCSB base fee. 

After the initial $26 increase, the ASUCD base fee would continue to edge up by $8 per quarter until 2030, when the fee would then be indexed to inflation. So it’s important to know that your vote on this fee referendum will continue to impact students far into the future.

The only way to save ASUCD as we know it, however, is to vote for this change. As editors at The Aggie, the members of this Editorial Board are all employees of ASUCD and understand the personal ramifications of this measure failing. We value the work that we do and realistically know that if students don’t vote to approve the increase, our jobs and our beloved newspaper will go away. The Aggie has served the UC Davis and the Davis communities for over 100 years, and we would be devastated to see it become history.

So even if you are on the fence, vote. Vote to make sure that we hit the 20% turnout threshold. And, if you value ASUCD as much as we do, please vote yes to support the work that students have been doing and to ensure that that work continues. 

We will vote yes. Will you?

Written by: The Editorial Board


  1. ASUCD needs to be scrapped and rebuilt from the ground up. The current administration’s incompetence, the previous administrations’ myopia, The Editorial Board… the list goes on.


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