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Letter to the editor: In defense of vote

By Sebastian Wenthe, ASI Senator of Clubs and Organizations

Last week, Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. student senate unanimously voted to suspend negotiations with The Fresno Bee. I’m writing this article in response to The Collegian’s opinion piece entitled “ASI vote was the wrong way to go.”

The article criticized ASI for failing to bring the decision to a referendum. However, as student representatives, it is ASI’s responsibility to make decisions during the school year. While acknowledging that ASI’s decisions can affect all students on campus, it must be emphasized that campus wide votes are not a common or practical form of decision-making.

These types of votes are typically reserved for significantly larger decisions such as last year’s referendum about whether to build a new multi million dollar student union. Bringing such a small action item to a campus wide vote would be inefficient and interferes with regular business.

Second, the article argued that the price for each newspaper had been lowered under the new proposal. However, it failed to mention that the total cost would increase from approximately $7,000 to approximately $17,000. The new proposal would be far too costly, and it would consume the entire ASI readership budget.

Given the availability of free information, the logical decision was to spend less money on the unpopular program. It is also not the university’s responsibility to fund local businesses. That burden belongs solely to the business to provide competitive services at a convenient price for students.

The student senate found that The Fresno Bee’s proposal was neither competitive nor worth the price.

As decision makers for students, it is ASI’s obligation to spend student and taxpayer money as wisely as possible. The decision was easy, and the decision was unanimous. This student senate will not spend unnecessary funds on unnecessary projects, and that was made clear by last week’s vote.