Success Fee objectors are all protest and no action

by KC Stanfield , Assistant Opinion Editor

San Diego State’s Student Success Fee is like an untreated case of syphilis. It’ll get progressively worse and more costly each year. Continuing with the analogy, the Student Success Fee can also be treated for we are not so helpless until our ignorance gets the best of us. 

Unless you have all your SDSU emails sent straight to the spam folder where they are condemned to associate with Nigerian princes and natural male enhancement, every student received a notification about sending in Student Success Fee proposals. The proposals were due Sept. 24 and students were finally able to give their input on how the funds should be allocated. The only problem is not that many participated. This level inaction needs to be addressed and the only ways students are thrust into an unwanted political situation is through protests and advocates.

For those of you — presumably freshmen — that don’t know, the Student Success Fee was proposed last semester to get more tenured faculty, equipment, etc. Less than 10 percent of the student body actually participated in the voting process and it was approved. This wasn’t taken sitting down by some students. There were numerous protests throughout the process objecting to any increase of whatsoever to their semester costs.

According to Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathy LaMaster, they have received a little more than 180 applications. It’s worth pointing out that there will be heavy competition for the funds and each proposal should cover multiple students — it was one of the requirements.

However, there’s no such thing as too many ideas, especially for how money should be spent. Everyone has his or her own unique perspective and interests, so there could theoretically be countless untapped suggestions. Overlooking something important because of unawareness is a problem the once protestors could’ve help solve.

Speaking of protestors, this begs the question: where were the once passionate people against the student success fee?”

Surely, they couldn’t have all graduated. Even if they lost the war, that’s no excuse to give up and forsake their ideals. This would have been a prime opportunity to politically mobilize and advocate for certain things to be funded. If the protesters really had students in mind, they would’ve done something. They cared enough to vocalize their objections once, so it shouldn’t be any different than advocating for a constructive allocation of the money.

Regardless of which side you allied with, the protests were a positive thing. Freedom of speech, no matter how unpopular, can spark debate and get students involved in their school’s politics. Sure, people got mad, but even though anger clouds judgment at times, it definitely gets people motivated. At the very least, protesting raises public awareness the same way commercials catch your attention, generally against your will. But these circumstances were relatively nonexistent when it came to the student proposals.

It could be argued that SDSU is partially to blame for not raising awareness, but I would disagree. They sent us emails about the issue and all we had to do was send one back. It’s inconceivable that this digitally connected generation wouldn’t know about it unless we purposely ignore it. Not to mention, all we had to do was send an email back. We had every waking opportunity to be involved, so the burden rests on students alone.

It’s troubling to see how little students care about the policies that affect them. Today’s freshmen will have to pay an additional $150 per semester when they’re seniors. We pay the Student Success Fee, so we should be knowledgeable enough to care what’s going on.

LaMaster said this process will happen again next year. So at least students have another shot to get it right.

This was the time when we needed rambunctious rabble-rousers the most and they were nowhere to be found. If students don’t look for the issues — which is only natural because everyone’s life is busy — protestors and advocates bring issues to us. We just need a lot more of them to inform and motivate us.