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Bill passed to require auxiliaries to show records

SB-8, a controversial piece of legislation requiring Cal State University and University of California auxiliary organizations to be transparent with their public records, was recently approved by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law now requires CSU and UC auxiliaries to operate under the California Public Records Act in the same way other public agencies are required to. In the past, some universities have initiated schemes to use auxiliaries to control student dollars, thereby taking advantage of the lack of transparency.

A revised version of previous attempts at auxiliary transparency, SB-8 has waited years to become law. Associated Students Inc. has disagreed with it numerous times, despite its claim to be supportive of transparency.

ASI Associate Executive Director and Director of the University Student Union Dave Edwards criticized an earlier version of the bill, calling it “poorly written” and “politically driven.”

ASI President Lucy Nguyen, then vice president, encouraged student senators to write letters in opposition of that same draft.

State Senator Leland Yee, who proposed the initial bill, fought through three drafts, two vetoes and very strict opposition throughout his campaign. California Faculty Association President Lillian Taiz said that in this time of public funding uncertainty, transparency is key in keeping the integrity of the universities intact.

“[SB-8] is a huge step in the right direction toward greater transparency, accountability and commitment to public service in California’s three public higher education systems,” Taiz said in a statement.


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