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Fees - Establishment or Abolishment of Campus-Based Mandatory Fees

The law governing the California State University provides that fees defined as mandatory, such as a student association fee and a student center fee, may be established. A student body association fee must be established upon a favorable vote of two-thirds of the students voting in an election held for this purpose (Education Code, Section 89300). A student center fee may be established only after a fee referendum is held which approves by a two-thirds favorable vote the establishment of the fee (Education Code, Section 89304). The student fee was established at San José State University by student referendum in the 1930s. The campus president may adjust the student body association fee only after the fee adjustment has been approved by a majority of students voting in a referendum established for that purpose (Education Code, Section 89300). The required fee shall be subject to referendum at any time upon the presentation of a petition to the campus president containing the signatures of 10 percent of the regularly enrolled students at the university. Once bonds are issued, authority to set and adjust student body center fees is governed by provisions of the State University Revenue Bond Act of 1947, including, but not limited to, Education Code, sections 90012, 90027, and 90068. Student association fees support a variety of cultural and recreational programs, childcare centers, and special student support programs.

The process to establish and adjust other campus-based mandatory fees requires consideration by the campus fee advisory committee and a student referendum. The campus President may use alternate consultation mechanisms if he/she determines that a referendum is not the best mechanism to achieve appropriate and meaningful consultation. Results of the referendum and the fee committee review are advisory to the campus President. The President may adjust campus-based mandatory fees, but must request the Chancellor establish a new mandatory fee. The President shall provide to the fee advisory committee a report of all campus-based mandatory fees. The campus shall report annually to the Chancellor a complete inventory of all campus based-mandatory fees.

For more information or questions, please contact the Budget Office in the CSU Chancellor's Office at 562-951-4560.