Have you ever wondered what it is the student government actually does to affect you? They have a huge election and loads of clubs have signs with little “ASUC-sponsored” signatures on their event posters. But other than that, the student government’s fancy-sounding meetings seem like a mystery. Well, one answer to the question of “What do they actually do?” is the fact that as Berkeley students we can hop on buses for “free.”
On the ballot this Spring, you’ll see a referendum calling for the renewal of our Class Pass fee, meaning we would keep the perks of riding AC Transit buses (and Bear Transit, those black vans that drive around campus) without dishing out two bucks and some change every time. If enough of the senators and those important people we voted into office say yes, on the next ballot we will get to vote on keeping or losing that important little bus sticker. So it won’t just be senators and executives you’ll be voting for in this spring’s election, but big things like this as well. Look at that: stuff that’s relevant to us!
It seems that a good number of students hold off on voting either because they’re so put off by all the campaigning that they just want to stick it to that annoying candidate that raced them to their 8 a.m. class, or because they feel like none of the hype really has anything to do with them. We’re not denying the various nuisances that come with election season, but we do think there are some reasons to at least be somewhat aware of what’s being decided. People we vote for (or ignore) actually do get together and decide things that are kind of important. Like this whole “riding the bus” thing. Who would you complain to if suddenly flashing your ID at the bus driver couldn’t get you from College to Shattuck for free?
Now, we know we just called the Class Pass “free” again and we know how misleading the term actually is. We actually do currently pay for using the buses in our tuition fees. So to really break even on the money put in, you’d have to ride the bus a lot of times. If you decide to be “healthy” and walk everywhere though (seriously, who does that?), then it’s just about $80 down the drain. Do you take the bus enough to want this referendum to pass? Or would you just be wasting money on an unnecessary fee? Take some time to consider these things before the time to vote (if it ends up on the ballot!).
The morals of this story are, we guess: Pay just some attention to ASUC shenanigans and be a fatty and take the bus everywhere!