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Opinions

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Our View: ASi executiVeS’ SizeAble SAlAry increASe rAiSeS queStiOnS

T

wo months ago, Cal State Long Beach students voted to approve a $16 Associated Students, Inc. fee increase, and last week, the ASI Senate approved a 2014-15 consolidated operating budget that would include increasing executives’ salaries by 33 percent. If the budget is approved by Interim President Donald Para, the ASI president, vice president and treasurer will go from earning an annual income of $16,752 to an annual income of $22,392. Additionally, ASI cabinet members such as the chief of staff and chief programpositions, will also see a pay raise from $14,157 to $19,032. Following Tuesday’s Daily 49er article about the increase to the part-time executive payroll budget, ASI Executive Director Richard Haller sent an email to

Daily 49er Daniel Serrano Editor in Chief eicd49er@gmail.com (562) 985-7998 Managing Editor Copy Editor News Editor Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor Asst. News Editor City Editor Asst. City Editor Asst. City Editor Asst. City Editor

Courtney Tompkins Kristine McGowan Rabiya Hussain Crystal Niebla Priscella Vega Cynthia Mauleon Shane Newell Donn Gruta Andrew Spencer Scott Bosco

ASI members to clarify that the salary increase would not be funded from the $1.1 million generated by the $16 increase, but that instead, the new revenue would go toward existing programs that would in turn free up “old money” to pay for the salary increase. So technically, the fee increase is not going towards executive pay. However, ASI has only one budget that includes both old money and new money, so drawing lines between the two seems irrelevant when the money is collectively used as a whole. Technicalities and politics aside, the $16 increase is what’s enabling the ASI executives to receive a 33% pay raise, one that some ASI executives feel is “necessary.” ASI Treasurer Agatha Gucyski said it is “incredible how underpaid” they are. Keep in mind, in addition to the $16,752 the executives currently make, they are

also given up to $300 monthly on a meal card and their tuition is waived by the OfThat being said, we’re not entirely opposed to the pay increase. We understand that ASI executives’ last salary increase was in 2007-08 and a pay raise is probably overdue. We can admit that are probably not compensated for all the work they do, but a 33 percent increase seems a little over the top. To be fair, the executives do not create the budget, and ASI President John Haberstroh said they had no knowledge of the pay raise when they were advocating for the $16 increase. The increase would also put ASI in compliance with a policy that establishes ASI executives’ pay based on the estimated cost of living, one that hasn’t been followed since 2007-08 because of budget cuts as a result of an economic

downturn. Additionally, the $20,000 that was moved into the part-time executive payroll budget accounts for less than 2 percent of the $1.1 million that is being generated by the fee increase. All things considered, though, it’s the sizable amount of the salary increase that raises a lot of questions, especially for those students who voted in favor of the fee increase. In politics, perception is everything, and a $400 to $450 monthly increase is an uncomfortably large sum of money, considering it is coming out of the students’ pockets. We would support a small ASI pay raise but not one on this scale. While the executives might not have actually drafted the budget, it still doesn’t look good when you consider the timing in which it came. Let’s not get too greedy here, politicians already have a bad enough rap as it is.

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Editorials: All opinions expressed in the columns, letters and cartoons in this issue are those of the writers or artists. The opinions of the Daily 49er department or the views of all staff members. All such editorials are written by the editorial board of the Daily 49er.

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Letters Policy: All letters and e-mail must bear the phone number of the writer and must be no more than 300 words. The Daily 49er reserves the right to edit letters for publication in regard to space.


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Diversions

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S p o t li g h t on lo cal A r ti s t s

Q. What’s the last thing you downloaded?

Nik Bates By Jesus Gonzalez Assistant Diversions Editor

Growing up alongside the Mexican border, the son of a black father and a Japanese mother, senior journalism major Nik Bates draws from his life experience and overall surroundings to make music that is just as diverse as he is. He said the fusion his path in life. He considers himself a bedroom producer and

NB: I think it was the Baths album Cerulean [2010]. Yeah, because I just listen[ed] to Obsidian [2013]. Q. How did you like that one? NB: I liked it a lot, so I’m curious to listen to Cerulean. music? NB on bandcamp. A lot of it is old, but I’ll be putting up some new songs on [Soundcloud]. On bandcamp, think they all have 16 songs each. one I ever made. In that one, I was

for music. Nik Bates: Most of it comes from my parents. We always had classic rock radio or classical music, so in the car I would hear Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith, KISS — that is what I grew up with. On the other side, my mom would take me to symphonies … we would see Yo-Yo Ma …. stuff like that. It wasn’t until eighth grade when I started to take the bus to school [that I] got into rapping. Q. How exactly was that transition from everything you were used to?

music from just about any genre to create some NB: Well, part of it had to do with me watching “8 He recalls high school as having an eclectic mix of people, which have inspired him to write songs about diversity, while embracing just about anything when he writes. “I want to put as much of myself in my music; I don’t have to preach anything” said Bates, who has interests ranging from Mötley Crüe to Magic Johnson and Yu-Gi-Oh. He said he one day hopes to share the stage with what he calls “reasonable idols,” like Asher Roth, Chuck Inglish and Mac Miller. He said he is looking forward to releasing new music, aiming for a June 30th release; a day that also happens to be his birthday. Q. Tell me a bit about your love or passion

listening to rap on the radio] … before that, my parents did listen to Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, basically the big names. Q. So what do you look for when you make or sample music? NB: As far as sampling right now, I’m looking for slow jazz songs, slow psychedelic rock songs, just so I can speed them up. I like the way it sounds going from slow to speeding it up. As far as lyrics … I try to include all of my interests. So I’ll rap about things like wrestling, Pokémon, skating, skate videos I used to watch and games I’ve played. Basically, anything I grew up with I’m trying to put in

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style … I honestly tried to copy Kid Cudi and Tyler, The Creator. I tried to make a spacey dark mixed tape. Looking back at it, it doesn’t sound very cool … My third [release] is called “Goodbye San Diego,” that one I show to people and am not Courtesy of ryo MiyauChi ashamed of. It was basically me trying to collect my thoughts of leaving my music. San Diego, having grown up there before moving down here to Long Beach. It’s all Q. Yeah, don’t you have a song that’s just about over classic hip-hip instrumentals, so it has an the ‘90s? old school ‘90s sound. That’s probably why I like it. My last release was called “This Is Gonna Be NB: Oh yeah, it’s called “Super Soakers,” in refer- Nasty.” I was trying to do more electronic music ence to those [Super Soakers] commercials. That … it was good practice. had lines about Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Mario kart, and wrestling, of course. I always throw Nick Cannon punch lines all over the place because he is from San Diego too, and my name is Nik so those are pretty easy to write. Q. You listen to a lot of music — tell me a bit about your hard drive. NB: Up until 10th grade, I was mostly on classic rock and some hip-hop. [Two of my friends] kind of inspired me to open up my tastes. So around 11th grade, I started digging into indie rock, folk [and] electronic [music]. I got into Justice and Crystal Castles, stuff like that. For a couple years, I was into that stuff, but then I started to get into anything I possibly could. So I was listening to Mongolian throat music, which is like folk Mongolian music made of instruments from horse bones and hair. Let me see what else ... drone music, ambient music, lots of stoner metal, probably my favorite right now … This week I’ve been trying to get into more synthpop. So artists like Tune-Yards, Baths, Foxes [and] Chvrches. From Chvrches that’s kind of how I branched out to everything else.

Q. Is that all the music you have ever released? NB: No, I started in eighth grade, so most of what I would write about was like, ‘I’m going to kill you and break your bones until it breaks out your skin,’ like really stupid stuff. A lot of it was battle rap lines. I probably made around 30 songs [that year], then I stopped once I started high school. [In junior year] when I met Andres, he got me back into writing. I lost count, but I have 125 plus songs since 11th grade; only about 50 have ever been released. A lot of them are me practicing over instrumentals. Also I just made my 300th beat a couple days ago. Q. Say what? NB: I’m trying to get my 10,000 hours in. There is this theory that you have to practice something for 10,000 hours before you really get good at it. I think I got a good 3,000 hours in, maybe. Check out Nik Bates’s music on nikbates.bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com/nikbates.


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