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Fresno State Student Veterans Organization President, Jed Soberal addresses Associated Students Incorporated senators during an ASI meeting on Sept. 20, 2017. Soberal, along with many veteran students, are advocating for a veterans resource center. (Alejandro Soto/The Collegian)

ASI moves forward on veteran center, Fresno Bee contract

A new contract between The Fresno Bee daily newspaper and the Fresno State Associated Students, Inc. was discussed last week after the previous newspaper subscription contract ended. It was one of two major topics discussed during the regular student government meeting on Sept. 20.

ASI Readership Program

ASI had voted 8-7 to sever ties with The Fresno Bee during its Sept. 6 senate meeting after The Bee proposed raising the cost of the newspaper subscription to students.

The Bee’s Maria Rivera proposed a new contract on Sept. 20, that includes a print and digital subscription in hopes of maintaining business with the university.

Rivera proposed a rate of roughly 15 cents per printed copy and 5 cents per digital copy with a minimum of 500 subscriptions.

“Digital access will be 24/7, but we won’t limit it to 500 students,” Rivera said. “We are making an offer here to open this up to as many students as would like to take advantage of it.”

If approved, the proposal could provide Fresno State students with unlimited digital access to The Fresno Bee online, including the app and customizable newsletters. The 500 printed copies would be distributed across campus throughout the school week.

The senate will vote on the new proposal during its Oct. 4. Meeting. Until then the university will continue to supply a small amount of daily papers.

Veterans

The ASI senate also revisited the Veterans Center resolution it had approved at its Sept. 6 meeting, which urges Fresno State administration to establish a Veterans Resource Center. The senate previously could not decide on specific language to include in the resolution.

The approved resolution states: “Associated Students Inc. make the establishment of a veterans resource center a top priority.”

The “top priority” wording of the resolution was debated by the senate.

Senator of veteran and transfer affairs Cody Sedaño defended the word choice, urging the senate to prioritize “something that we [veterans] have been asking for, for over a decade.”

In an interview with The Collegian on Aug. 28, Sedaño said he has long fought for his position  to advocate for the veteran community at Fresno State.

“Now I hold the position I fought for, and I am an active and vocal voice for my constituents in the veterans community on campus,” Sedaño said during a previous interview.

One of Sedaño’s goals during his term, he said, is to a establish an interim Veterans Resource Center on campus. He said Fresno State is one of the last CSU campuses to have one.

Jed Soberal president of Fresno State’s Student Veterans Organization, also defended the “priority” language of the veterans center resolution.

“I’d really like an answer as to what is the top priority, if not this,” he said.

Afterward, the senate voted 11-6 to keep “a top priority” in the resolution. Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Frank Lamas has also spoken in favor of the veterans center.

Lamas said there are plans to make a space for it in the lower level of the University Student Union. It’s currently housed in the Joyal Administration Building.

Lamas also said a resource center for veterans would likely be included in a New Student Union if a referendum on the New USU is approved by students.