FACE Initiative

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  1. Campus Enhancements
  2. Financial impact
  3. Controversy

The Facilities And Campus Enhancement Initiative was passed by the UC Davis student body in February 1999. The ballot initiative proposed a bundle of loosely related campus upgrades, all under the same bill and carrying a hefty price tag. The unifying theme behind many of the upgrades was the UCD athletic department's move from Division II to Division I-AA.

Campus Enhancements

Financial impact

All these top-notch facilities (However, the SRRC being in the South Hall basement is far from top notch) are coming at a significant cost to students. To fund the three capital athletic projects, the referendum called for an $18-per-quarter increase in student fees. The new multi-use stadium under construction will cost $30 million, and student-based fees from the F.A.C.E. Initiative account for almost two-thirds of that cost, according to UCD's Dateline. (I don't know how much of the ARC and Aquatics Center tabs were picked up by students.)

Robert Baron notes that the above statement about the actual cost is not entirely accurate. Every undergraduate in-state student pays $315.00 per year out of their student fees to pay for the F.A.C.E. initiative. Go to [WWW]http://budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees/ to visit the UC Davis Office of Budget & Institutional Analysis for the full breakdown.

Controversy

Undergraduate Student fees, over the course of (some number of) years, pay for the projects in the FACE initiative. This means that the students who chose to impose these fees on the student body would graduate before paying the bulk of the costs; conversely, UCD's current student body, already reeling from a 60 percent overall fee increase since 2001 and facing further tuition hikes, had no say in whether the school would take on this additional financial commitment. Still, most of the students in 1999 realized the heavy consequences of the bill, and a record number of voters turned out to vote on the bill in the winter election.

The initiative passed by seventy percent. In Fall 2004, the ASUCD Senate passed a bill to include an initiative on the next election's ballot to allow students to choose to raise the threshold for new fee-based initiatives to a minimum 60 percent majority. If students then passed that ballot measure, it would have served to restrict fee increases from measures with less-than-decisive support from students. FACE was exactly the scenario the bill's authors wished to prevent in the future. Then-ASUCD President Kalen Gallagher vetoed the bill, and a cowed senate withdrew the bill.

Additionally, the D-I transition also requires most of UCD's sports teams to sit out the play-off seasons for several years — regardless of how well the teams do before play-offs. UCD football will next be eligible for D-I-AA play-offs in the 2007-2008 season. [WWW]Aggie article

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