Student Involvement & Representation Fee (SIRF)
SIRF is a $2 fee assessed twice a year to all California State University (CSU) students in order to fund the California State Student Association.
Initiated and developed by the California State Student Association, or CSSA, SIRF creates a more independent and effective statewide student association with the main objective of expanding CSSA’s efforts to serve all CSU students. The fee creates direct accountability of CSSA to the students it serves by giving students a choice to participate (or not) in SIRF and support the organization that represents their interests.
Who is CSSA?
CSSA is a nonprofit student organization founded by student body presidents in 1959. Recognized by the CSU Trustees and the California legislature as the official voice of CSU students, CSSA has long advocated for access to an affordable and high quality CSU education. It is by CSSA’s work that student voices are included when it comes to decisions made by the CSU Chancellor, CSU Trustees, and state legislature. CSSA works to ensure that the students are at the forefront of higher education policy in California.
Every month, an assembly of CSU student leaders meet to discuss pertinent higher education issues in order to strategize solutions to improve the college experience for students. These student leaders come from each of the 23 CSU campuses and make up the CSSA Board of Directors. Elected CSSA student officers and professional staff carry out these directives on a daily basis year-round.
Some of the recent successes CSSA has made for students include the following:
- Improving college textbook affordability
- Combating food insecurity for low-income students
- Ensuring student participation in the governance of the CSU system
- Empowering students to lead sustainability initiatives at their campuses
- Partnering with the Secretary of State and CSU Chancellor’s Office to register students to vote
- Hosting a summit to educate CSU students on higher education legislation and issues
- Successfully advocating for more state funding for the CSU system
More information regarding our recent accomplishments, legislative successes, and student programs can be found on our website.
How are SIRF Fees Spent?
CSSA’s student board of directors decides how SIRF dollars are allocated based on the higher education issues our student leaders designate as priority areas. SIRF dollars allow student leaders to engage in advocacy and programming that serve CSU students across the state by funding student travel to the state capitol or CSU Chancellor’s Office to provide student input on decisions, enabling student activism via social media, creating professional development opportunities for students, analyzing the impact of higher education laws and policies on CSU students, and other important activities that benefit CSU students. These efforts have direct costs, but also have the indirect expenses of a professional staff whose sole purpose is to support and run these programs and initiatives on a daily basis. CSSA is a nonprofit organization, and the student board maintains oversight and authority over SIRF dollars. An independent audit is conducted annually and made public to ensure SIRF funds are spent according to these initiatives responsibly and transparently.
$2 per semester or $4 per year is lower than any other CSU fee, yet it is the only fee that directly supports amplifying the student voice when it comes to the CSU and higher education policy. SIRF is the primary funding source of the CSSA and without it, the organization could not exist to serve CSU students.
Provide Students Choice
Each CSU student has the ability not to pay the fee for financial, political, or personal reasons each time it is assessed. Although the fee is relatively low cost at $2 per semester, we recognize that students deserve a choice in funding their student advocacy association.
How Do Students Opt-Out?
Every student can opt-out by their campus specified deadline via their student financial portal. Students should reach out to their campus financial services office if they need assistance opting-out.