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June 1, 1998

Student voters approve health insurance, restaurant and cultural center fees

By Francine Tyler

During UCSC's spring elections, undergraduate students approved new fees to establish a group health insurance plan and support a student-run restaurant and cultural center. The elections were held May 11-15 on the World Wide Web. More than 2,000 undergraduates (23 percent of the undergraduate student body) voted in the elections. A 20 percent turnout was required for the elections to be valid. Only undergraduates were eligible to vote.

Approximately 70 percent of the students voted for Measure A, giving it the required support (66.6 percent) to pass. Measure A instituted a $120 per quarter fee to purchase group health insurance. Undergraduates who already have comprehensive health coverage may opt out of the student insurance and avoid paying the fee.

Approximately 80 percent of students voted for Measure C, which instituted a $.50 per quarter fee to support a new student-run restaurant and cultural center at the Student Center.

Both of the new fees must be approved by the UC Regents before they become official. If approved, the new fees will be assessed beginning in fall 1998. The student restaurant and cultural center fee would end after three years.

In an opinion poll placed on the ballot by the Student Union Assembly, students weighed in on whether they want a special student committee formed to review and approve any new construction on the UCSC campus.

The students voted overwelmingly in support of establishing such a committee, with 1,619 in favor and 224 against. The opinion poll is not legally binding.

The voters turned down a $2 per quarter fee to support theater arts performances on campus. The fee would have made it possible for students to attend Theater Arts Department productions free of charge. Currently, students pay an average of $6 for admission to each performance they attend. Approximately 66 percent of the student body approved the fee, slightly less than the two-thirds margin necessary to pass.

Voters also elected officers to the Student Union Assembly, naming Heliana (Ellie) Ramirez as Student Union Assembly chair, Esteban Talavera as campus organizing director, Matthew Trujillo as UCSA representative, and Allison Endert as Lobby Corps director. The officers' yearlong terms begin July 1.

For more information about this year's elections, go to the Student Organization Advising & Resources home page at soar.ucsc.edu/index.html

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