Vote ‘yes’ on the Student Basic Needs referendum

Fruits and vegetables
Alexander Hong/Staff

Students face a number of obstacles in graduating from UC Berkeley – hunger, malnourishment and homelessness shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s why you should vote “yes” on the Student Basic Needs referendum.

This referendum attempts to address the growing gaps in basic needs accessibility on campus that are often ignored in long-term advocacy efforts. The funds will go toward educating students about basic needs resources and providing food and housing relief for students in immediate need or for those who don’t qualify for financial aid.

UC Berkeley has consistently failed to provide all students with these basic needs. Each year, nearly 39 percent of campus undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students face food insecurity, and nearly 10 percent of campus students experience homelessness. Every community member that has the means to do so should be ensuring that all students have access to food, shelter and economic security.

The fee is reasonable — just $15 during the fall and spring semesters and $10 in the summer to create impactful change on campus. And it won’t burden the students who need it most with another annual cost — 33 percent of revenue collected will be returned to the campus as financial aid. Additionally, the referendum’s proponents met with numerous branches and officials on campus to ensure that the language was holistic and inclusive.

Basic needs funding shouldn’t be dependent on a precarious state budget. This referendum will provide stability, ensuring continuous funding for 10 years while students and administrators lobby for permanent financial resources to eliminate a need for the fee in the future.

The campus must make supporting students’ basic needs a priority for all community members — this referendum will do just that.

Vote “yes” on the Student Basic Needs Referendum.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.