Proposition 30 refund: Students left in the dark

In News

Imagine that while Christmas shopping this season, you came across a new refrigerator that you are in dire need of; your current icebox is on the fritz.

To your surprise, the refrigerator is advertised as $500 off, a deal just too good to pass up.

This was how Proposition 30 was pitched to our student body.

Much was made by school administration during this year’s election of the importance of Proposition 30’s passage. There was an implied understanding—if not an outright statement—that if Cal State Fullerton students supported the school by backing this measure, our veritable backs would in turn be covered; a near $500 refund for helping stave off drastic cuts.

Yet now, with the semester closing, there appears a relative indifference to delivering on what was promised. To put it another way, it seems that the $500 off the fridge was really a mail-in rebate, putting the burden on you as the consumer to obtain your own savings.

Granted, students still receive a credit towards their next semester regardless, but the implication was a monetary refund.

Simply put, information passed on to students on how to get their Proposition 30 refund has been lacking; the discrete steps taken to inform students paled in comparison to the amount of effort expended campus-wide on getting students to vote in favor of the measure in the first place.

Qualified students were given just over 20 days to complete and turn in a form to claim their money and, additionally, have until this Friday to clarify how they would like their refund to come in. This is, of course, dependent completely on students seeing emails sent out to their campus addresses.
Not to mention students needing to be eligible for the much-desired refund, those requirements remaining unknown until after Proposition 30 had already passed, leaving several students with Cal Grants, Pell Grants and University Grants high and dry.

There simply seems to be a disconnect from administration, student financial services and the student body they’re supposed to be serving—claiming to have handled the situation thoroughly despite even student leadership suggesting otherwise evinces this.

Even the Daily Titan’s own survey, though hardly a scientific poll, skews towards almost 50 percent of students being ignorant of how to get the Proposition 30 refund, or that there even was one in the first place.

Perhaps there was simply not enough work put into a contingency plan if the proposition passed. But the point remains that for as much faith and support that students placed in their administration, they have done a poor job in reciprocating that.

In the future, administration needs to do a more thorough job on making sure students know what they are getting (and what they are getting into) if another opportunity like this arises. Emails alone will not suffice, rather we should be using all of the resources available to us to get the word out: Social media, the CSUF website itself and even encouragement to staff to let students know what steps they need to take would all be effective solutions.

Without an earnest effort to get the word out, enticing students to vote seems cynical and self-serving rather than helpful. If effort is expected from the students to vote for school funding, effort should be expected from the school to give students what they were promised.

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