SSU Administration Rigs Student Election for Fee Increase

By Peter Phillips, SSU Professor Sociology

The SF Civil Rights Lawyer’s Committee has challenged Sonoma States University’s election April 11-13. 2011 for student fee increases of $300 per year as having “serious voting irregularities.” As a witness to the election process it was clear that that University administration took full advantage of mass e-mailings, misinformation, paid employee time, and thousands of dollars to persuade the dorm students to vote yes on the fee increase. All of these efforts were a clear violation of the University’s responsibility to hold an “open fair and objective process” as mandated by CSU policy. Every receipt on campus for coffee and sales had a Vote Yes message. Paid SSU student employees were required to attend a mandatory meetings pitching a yes vote on the fee increase.

Two thirds of the students didn’t vote in the electronic on-line election, many never received a voter message. Students polled before the election were 80% opposed to fee increases. The fee increase will tax two generations of students $64 million dollars to build a student center that could have been paid for from regular University funds.

8.31.11_Sonoma State University Letter_Draft

2 Responses for “SSU Administration Rigs Student Election for Fee Increase”

  1. Davis Jones says:

    I can validate the findings in this article. I was a student at SSU from 2011-2012 and was active on campus when this “vote” was taking place. I can tell you that the SSU administration was overwhelmingly the only distributor of information and they CLEARLY wanted the fee increase to fund the new multi-million dollar student center. They used signage, mass mailings, and other on-campus advertising to encourage people to vote “yes” to the fee increases. Meanwhile, in-class students were widely opposed to the fee increases. Of course, voter turnout was extremely low and the fee increase was approved.

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