Mixed emotions over rec center vote
September 16, 2009 7:15 PM
While the J. Paul Leonard Library is still under construction, the Associated Students Inc. has come up with a plan to build a recreation and wellness center, which students will soon get the opportunity to vote on, and which could lead to extra tuition fees over the next six years.
ASI has rescheduled a vote for this semester, from Oct.19 through Oct. 21, to determine if students are willing to pay an extra $160 per semester in tuition fees over the next six years, in order to build a recreation center on campus.
Samuel Brown, a senior majoring in environmental studies and Spanish, and who is the chair of the financing committee of the Student Center Governing Board is not thrilled with the idea. Brown feels the entire project is a flawed process coming from people in higher positions on campus.
According to Brown, the SCGB agreed to go along with ASI's decision to be a part of the process with the agreement that students could give their decisions on it, and the ASI and SCGB could remain objective, neutral and unbiased.
As listed on the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Web site, the building would add over 100,000 square feet of new recreation and activity space on campus, and according to Brown, is a $93 million dollar project.
The center would also include approximately 17,000 square feet of state-of-the art weight and fitness space and equipment, and will provide more than 100 new student jobs.
Although the new center would add more equipment and excitement to the campus, some students have mixed emotions due to financial struggles that already exist.
Eighteen-year-old Farah Soltane, freshman, says she uses the gymnasium for various sporting needs such as wrestling, pool and volleyball.
While she uses the gym heavily, Soltane said if students are asked for more money to build the center she is not in favor of it. "Financial aid given from the government is not even enough, so please don't make us pay more," she said.
Jon Smallwood, 25, junior, majoring in education, doesn't care which way the vote turns out. "It doesn't really matter to me," he said. "It will even itself out."
But Smallwood thinks that building a new gym does not guarantee a greater use of the facility.
Views like Smallwood's and Soltane, caring and not caring what happens, reinforce Brown's belief in the necessity of giving students the right to vote due to their different mindsets.
"Students would be basically taxing themselves if not given the right to vote, and that would be undemocratic," Brown said.
If the vote passes, students will start seeing the change in tuition fees over the next six years, starting by fall 2010, as stated on the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Web site.
All of the $160 fee increase would go toward the construction and operational costs of the center.
For more information on the center and the voting process, go to: www.studentrecreationandwellness.com
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