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Student Fee Referenda

What is Student Fee Referenda?


University of California student fees are governed by a number of Regental, Office of the President and campus policies. These implementing guidelines are intended to amplify, clarify and augment the policies only pertaining to campus-based student fee referenda.

All student referenda results are advisory to the Chancellor and, conditional on the Chancellor's recommendation and approval, are subject to final approval by the UC President under the authority delegated to the UC President by The Regents. The authority for charging student fees is vested in The Regents, who, in Section 100.4(g) of the Standing Orders of the Regents, delegate certain authority to the President.



The goals that guide the referendum process are:

· To ensure compliance with Campus and University policies;

· To foster the widest possible discussion and debate in an effort to create a well informed voting population;

· To achieve the broadest possible consultation among both students and the appropriate campus units during all phases of planning and implementation of student fee referenda; and

· To ensure that fees approved by students are in accordance with policy and are implementable.

· To ensure the conduct of the referendum election shall conform to principles of democracy and fairness. All participants, whether on advisory committees, in student government, in the sponsoring unit, on election campaign groups, or otherwise involved, shall abide by these principles. These principles include the right of voter access to complete and accurate information; referendum opposition's right of access to the voting community for their campaign; guaranteed anonymity of each person's vote; honest campaigning free of intimidation, threats, or pressure; equal opportunity for all to cast their ballots; and a complaint/grievance process with swift and impartial response.


Origins of Campus-Based Student Fee Referenda

UC Merced campus-based student fee referenda may be initiated by: 1) students or student organizations through the ASUCM (Associated Students of the University of California, Merced)/GSA (Graduate Student Association) or its election practices, or 2) a campus unit through campus executive management approval. These guidelines govern the process to ensure that referenda that make it to the ballot to be voted on by students can be implemented by campus. These guidelines take into account ASUCM/GSA election policies and timing. It is particularly important to adhere to the provisions concerning ballot content, clarity of language, adherence to campus and University policies, and voter information and education. These guidelines apply only to campus-based compulsory student fees. They do not apply to University-wide fees, fees related to instruction, course materials fees, or other fees requiring President’s approval, or campus-based miscellaneous fees (e.g., user fees) requiring Chancellor's approval.


To view the entire guidelines, please see: Guidelines for Establishing, Increasing, Reducing, or Eliminating Campus-based Fees


2021 Student Fee Referendum Proposals:


2020 Student Fee Referendum Proposals: