Dates for referendum Petitioning period: February 21st to March 13th

What is a referendum?

Any Brooklyn College student or group may bring a referendum before the student body. A referendum is a proposal for changes to the student activity fee that would be initiated by a petition of at least 10 percent of the appropriate student body and (usually) voted upon in conjunction with student government elections. The result of the referendum may then be carried out by the college administration.

Where the referendum seeks to affect the use or amount of student activity fees in the college purposes fund, the results of the referendum shall be sent to the board by the college president together with his or her recommendation.

Why do I care (or don't care)?

The Referendum will directly impact you (financially) and the services you receive at Brooklyn College.

Can you summarize the Referendum for me? (click on the arrows for more information)

In 2019, Brooklyn College passed a referendum to dissolve CLAS and SGS, creating one united Student Government called the Undergraduate Student Government (USG); however, by dissolving those organizations, student government lost representation on bodies they previously had representation on (because the old groups are still named in the bodies constitution). Item 1 in this referendum would address this issue.

Solution: We, the undersigned duly registered Brooklyn College students in the undergraduate division do hereby support transferring any rights, privileges, franchises, and authorities held by CLAS, SGS, or any defunct undergraduate student government or allocating body in effect prior to the establishment of USG to USG.

Students lack oversight over Student Activity Fee (SAF) implementation. Organizations receiving SAF can change their governance to eliminate student representation on the body, overriding students. Item 2 in this referendum would address this by having an oversight body from the Student Government to ensure SAF monies directly impact students. This would not include current or future news organizations to avoid a conflict of interest.

Solution: We, the undersigned duly registered Brooklyn College students in the undergraduate division do hereby support, with the exception of student news organizations and student government, any current or future organization receiving student activity fees from undergraduate students to be overseen by the Undergraduate Student Government Committee on Oversight of the Student Activity Fee.

The organizations/clubs listed in item 3 can fully operate with no conflict of interest under USG and as such have no need to be referendum groups. The organizations/clubs will be managed by the undergraduate student government per its constitution and bylaws consistent with all other student organizations/clubs. This will also allow the referendum group flexibility to ask for money directly from the centralized budget at USG. Several organizations/clubs during COVID-19 shut down and the money is still allocated to them even though they don't exist. Students should not be obligated to pay for services that don't exist. The best way to avoid this going forward is to centralize the budget so USG can allocate money to active organizations when needed. Arguments for leaving these groups as referendum groups were that previous student governments did not allocate money to them. These arguments are not applicable now because the structure of USG allows students to hold the executives accountable (unlike the structure of student governments prior to the establishment of USG). Lastly, USG will guarantee (upon request) the same budget the group would have received as a referendum group for the fiscal year 2024 to ensure a smooth transition. The purpose of this proposal is not to restrict the club but to centralize the funding for more flexibility. This can mean that a club can ask for more money than what was allocated in the referendum and that money can be shifted to a group that can utilize it if they do not.

Solution: We, the undersigned duly registered Brooklyn College students in the undergraduate division do hereby support dissolving the referendum groups listed below and listing them as organizations/clubs under USG :

In item 4, the Esports and Gaming Club will be established as a referendum group under USG. This will create a fully supported esports department so students can compete in an intercollegiate competition with other schools nationwide. This would allow the program to properly staff, train athletes, provide professional guidance, pay for league fees, and compete nationally in 4 or more esports titles (League of Legends, VALORANT, Rocket League, Smash Ultimate). In addition, a USG-proposed gaming PC lab to facilitate access for both the esports athletes and the greater student body is planned. The gaming lab will feature a dozen gaming PCs, high-quality gaming monitors, and peripherals, as well as access to high-speed internet. This resource will give students the opportunity to engage with their favorite games between classes and be able to use higher-quality equipment than they may have at home. Funding would also be used to implement a broad social media presence within esports (i.e. Twitch & YouTube) drawing attention to both the program, the value of Brooklyn College, and giving students the opportunity to develop valuable work experience. There would also be funds allocated to professional development panels open to all students as well as community-building events on campus such as open tournaments, exhibitions, and watch parties.

Solution: We, the undersigned duly registered Brooklyn College students in the undergraduate division do hereby support establishing the Brooklyn College Esports and Gaming Club as outlined by the proposed constitution and bylaws with an allocation of $5 in the fall and spring semesters and $1 per summer session.

Finally, in item 5 the student activity fee will be increased in the Fall & Spring sessions from $114.85 to $120.00 ($5.15 increase), and in the Summer from $78.95 to $80.00 ($1.05 increase). This change would preserve and enhance the essential student services provided and will establish an additional referendum group. The above changes will allow the Undergraduate Student Government to have more flexibility in advocating for students and providing better services.


Please click here to sign the petition for the referendum: