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June 6, 1997

Spring '97 student election results

By Francine Tyler

Students showed their support of campus child care, voting in UCSC's spring '97 elections to pay a higher quarterly fee to improve and maintain programs for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.

The same voters rejected a measure that would have paid for improvements to campus mailrooms and coffee shops and another measure instituting a mandatory health insurance plan.

The spring elections were the campus's first general elections to be held entirely on the World Wide Web, according to Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR). Students voted from home computers, at campus computer labs, and at each college. Portable precincts, made up of laptop computers and wireless modems, provided easy access for voters in high-traffic areas on campus, said election commissioner Corin Choppin.

The level of student participation didn't change significantly from last year, despite the ease of voting, said Choppin. Approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students (23 percent of the student body) participated in the elections. A 20 percent turnout was required for the elections to be valid.

Approximately 70 percent of the students voted for Measure A, giving it the required support to pass. As a result of the vote, the $3 Child Care Programs fee currently paid by students each quarter will rise to $8 starting in the fall. The increased revenue will pay for a number of improvements to the program and partly address operational deficits, said Lise Bixler, director of Child Care Services.

Child Care Services plans to expand its infant-and-toddler program, eventually offering subsidized year-round care for infants and toddlers with the help of state Department of Education grants, Bixler said. In addition, the Granary Child Development program will provide more subsidized spaces for children of students, and the Children's Center will create new work-study positions.

Two other measures on the ballot, for which only undergraduate students were eligible to vote, were turned down.

Measure B would have raised the existing Student Facilities Fee from $20 to $28 per quarter, starting in fall 1998. The increased revenue would have paid for construction of two new mailroom buildings at Cowell and Stevenson Colleges and Crown and Merrill Colleges; renovation of mailrooms at Porter, Kresge, Oakes, and College Eight; and kitchen repairs and improvements at college coffee shops. It received 33.9 percent of the vote.

Measure C would have created a mandatory University Health Insurance Plan for all registered UCSC undergraduate students. The plan proposed to cover the students' health care needs anywhere in the world, 12 months a year, and allowed waivers for students with equal or better health insurance coverage. The measure received 54.6 percent of the vote.

In one of two opinion polls, students also weighed in on a proposal for a UCSC undergraduate yearbook. Approximately half (48.3 percent) of those voting said they would support the publication of a yearbook, and 42.5 percent said they would purchase such a book.

In the second opinion poll, students were asked where they believe the Student Center and student organization offices should be located. According to the poll, 31.6 percent of those voting had no preference, 27.5 percent preferred a site at the Bay Tree Bookstore, and 20.7 percent preferred the Student Center's current site near Performing Arts.

Voters also elected officers to the Student Union Assembly, naming Sara Dozier as SUA chair, Benigno Delgado as UC Student Association representative, Paz Oliverez as campus organizing director, and Kim Perez as Lobby Corps director.

For vote tallies on the Web

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