Sign to pledge to boycott and support rescinding the SIRF fee, and all other present and future fees on CSU students that fund the CSSA, until the CSSA can reasonably demonstrate democratic involvement of its student constituents and effective methods for acquiring appropriate feedback for representing them.
The California State Student Association (CSSA) has publicly and actively demonstrated that it sides with California State University (CSU) Administrations, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Board of Trustees over its student constituents, staff, and faculty.
The CSSA is funded in part by the Student Involvement and Representation Fee (SIRF). This is a twice annual $2 fee that all CSU students pay unless they opt out. This opt out method is confusing and contradictory to the name of the fee. The CSSA does not use the money from this fee to involve or represent students, and rather, works actively against their constituents best interests.
What did the CSSA do that warrants a boycott of their financial support?
The CSSA has a history of selling out students to privatization forces in the CSU administration. This was recently demonstrated in Board of Trustee’s public comments, interviews with the Sacramento Bee newspaper, and facebook activity by the CSSA’s page, where the CSSA performed and delivered strikebreaking tactics and rhetoric.
This stance originated from a variety of sources but is epitomized by the fact that the CSSA’s staff was supplied by the Chancellor’s office. To combat this, the CSSA passed the SIRF fee to help wean it from its financial dependency on the Chancellor’s office, and cut it’s ties from the Chancellor’s office — on paper. Despite claiming to cut ties with the Chancellor’s office, CSSA has continued its culture and agenda of supporting the Chancellor’s office and throwing its student constituents under the bus, alongside staff and faculty.
The CSU administration and privatization forces have a strong grip over the CSSA. The penetration of the Chancellor’s office staff created a culture of sycophancy by empowering certain students and conspiring against others, mostly through keeping knowledge of the CSSA’s existence to a minimal and only recruiting favored students.
The CSSA is incredibly detached from its students and absorbed in its own culture. Students don’t even know it exists or that they pay fees to fund it. The student body presidents’ meetings, which developed into the CSSA, used to be open to the public but now take place behind closed doors. These closed door meetings are further supplemented with networks of secret facebook groups and chats.
On multiple occasions, student organizers have tried to reform the CSSA by joining it and restructuring it from the inside.
Student organizers have also attended CSSA meetings and booked private meetings with CSSA Executives, all to no avail. http://thelumberjack.org/2014/10/14/students-voice-concerns-at-cssa-meeting/
Those past and current efforts need our help.
Based on the quality of the “representation” students are receiving, do you think it is fair that select administratively picked students use CSU-wide student fee money to purchase flights, rent cars and vans, and actively organize to break the potentially upcoming faculty strike? Is it fair that these strike breaking actions and other privatization endeavors are funded by a little-known, opt-out only fee, called the Student Representation and Involvement Fee, paid by all CSU students?
Do you feel students are being represented and involved?
What does signing this petition boycotting the SIRF fee achieve?
Signing this petition gives a visual estimate of how many people are boycotting and support rescinding all fees that fund the CSSA. It will help make the boycott effective by garnering public and press attention to really make CSSA feel the pressure to develop a plan in order to start empowering students! Signing this petition could possibly even amount to more pressure on CSSA to change positively than the financial boycott itself.
This petition also provides an outlet for your voice in the comment sections. If inspired, please express your motivations on why you are signing this petition, your experiences with CSSA and CSU student governments, how to combat union breaking tactics, or anything else!
Signing this petition and boycotting the SIRF will send a clear message to CSSA to shape up their act, start decentralizing their hierarchies, relinquish privatization control over their agendas, and set up processes to empower students.
The CSSA cares about its public image and actively listens to negative feedback that threatens its financial support!
Never heard of the California State Student Association (CSSA) before?
The CSSA consists of some 40 students and has a full time staff supplied by the Chancellor’s office. It conducts monthly meetings where student representatives and presidents fly in from from all of the California State University (CSU) campuses across the state. Full hotel, flight, rental car, and meal accommodations are provided for representatives. In most cases, representatives also have substantial annual stipends ranging from $1,000 to $29,000, depending on which university they are from. The CSSA president along with other CSSA executives also receive a variety of perks including free tuition.
Prior to 1979, the CSSA was the California State Student Presidents Association, and was composed of the Student Body Presidents of each CSU campus. As the CSSA, campus Presidents are now able to appoint and send a representative in their stead, with Presidents round table meetings no longer being open to the public.
What is the Student Involvement and Representation Fee (SIRF)?
Per San Jose State University’s website:
“Your $2 contribution ensures that CSU students have a say on tuition, financial aid, student services, course availability, and academic advising. Your elected student leaders oversee involvement and representation dollars through the California State Student Association (CSSA). CSSA is the official student voice at the university system, state, and federal level. In addition to supporting student representation, your contribution increases opportunities for students to acquire relevant career skills, apply for scholarships, participate in internships, and advocate on issues that are important to you. Thank you for contributing to a stronger voice on behalf of all CSU students.”
The CSSA’s website describes the SIRF here: http://www.csustudents.org/our-priorities/sirf/
The SIRF currently supplies the CSSA with $1,517,800.00 in finances.
The SIRF was a huge issue of controversy in the CSSA, and even resulted in their Chancellor’s office employed Executive Director breaking down in tears in front of the CSSA Board, begging them to pass the SIRF.
The CSSA must be commended for its one noble act of putting power in the hands of the students to some degree, by allowing them to withdraw funding for the CSSA through the opt-out only SIRF.
Even this was done with poor intentions however, as it acted as a compromise and clever workaround to pacify several universities’ student governments that believed the CSSA did not represent them and wished to not fund the CSSA. The SIRF took power out of the hands of these select few involved and disgruntled students, and put it directly to the students at large, in a clever way, where students didn’t even realize they were paying the fee or what happened with the money. http://mustangnews.net/asi-fights-potential-fee-increase/
How to Boycott SIRF Fee (varies by campus):
From CSU Long Beach SQE https://www.facebook.com/csulbsqe/posts/470412899828619
Step 1: Log into mycsulb.edu or your cal state school portal
Step 2: CLICK Student Center
Step 3: CLICK Account Inquiry
Step 4: CLICK “Activity” Tab
Step 5: Look for : SIRF-Student Involv & Repr Fee [Spring 2016] [$2.00]
Step 6: CLICK [Opt Out]
Step 7: Put your reason why you are opting out!
From San Jose State University
1. Go to MySJSU (http://my.sjsu.edu/) and click the Login to MySJSU button.
2. Enter your User ID and Password and click the Sign In button.
3. From the Student Center, scroll down to Finances.
4. Click on the “other financial” drop down menu and choose option Account Activity. Click on the Go arrow.
5. Click View All at the top of the column to see all fees.
6. Click the i button to view information about SIRF.
7. Screen will pop up explaining SIRF.
8. To opt out of SIRF, click on the OPT OUT hyperlink.
Following this process will deduct SIRF from your balance.
9. After clicking on the OPT OUT link, select reason from the drop down menu and click on the Opt Out button. If you do not want to opt out, click on the Go Back button.
10. To view fees and verify that you have opted out of SIRF, go to Account Activity.