In a student senate led referendum for the approval and implementation of a transportation fee for next fall semester 2018, the “Student Mobility Initiative(SMI),” has passed in a unanimous vote of 293 for “yes” and 36 for “no,” out of a total voter turnout of 329.
The controversial bill aims to impose a student fee, as part of tuition costs, of $8 for part-time and $9 for full-time students.
The program insists that paying a fee to make transportation free is integral to keep a steady flow of money to the campus- but to also benefit the students themselves.
Student Government member Angela Vasquez has voiced her concerns in defense of the program.
“It’s beneficial. Yes you pay for it, but it’s cheaper than spending $2 a day for parking,” said Vasquez.
In accordance with her claims, students even with alternate forms of transportation or those who decide to not use the bus still have the opportunity and potential to go anywhere they want around the community at no extra cost through the same bus system.
Based upon LPC student study analysis of the past five years of enrollment data, the program would in theory generate $150,000 per fiscal year with all the revenue going toward the subsidy that funds the “free” transportation.
The effectiveness of the SMI program has been put into question by some students who have labeled it as “pure socialist propaganda. ”
ASGC advisor Scott Miner has supported the bill citing that “It’s the best solution for everyone who wants to keep transportation free.”
Although the voter turnout resulted in the majority for “yes,” it comes from the 329 total votes that were cast into the ballot out of a “population 12,302 students,” according to statistics from the 2017 Student Success Scorecard.
This raises concerns about the vote due to the relatively low amount of student input with 2.7 percent of the entire school population, had a percentage turnout of 2.4 percent voting “yes” and less than 1 percent voting “no.”
The Student Mobility Initiative is currently in the works to be implemented for next fall semester 2018.