Via email November 9, 1997
The University budget is a massive and complex animal. The Union stands as a monument to the mismanagement of University funds. I do think that some sort of voluntary student contribution would be helpful. However, by assessing a MANDATORY fee on ourselves, I believe that we students are saying that we tolerate the lack of planning and prioritization shown on the Union project over the past 10+ years.
Yes, the campus (not just the students, but the WHOLE U of A community) must unite behind this project, but a student fee must be the LAST POSSIBLE RESORT. It is simply unfair to ask the students to pay a 3.8% increase in addition to whatever the Regents decide to raise tuition by this year.
Please do not misunderstand my position. I do not think that the Administraition is out to get us. I think the fact that this project serves the interest of both students and administrators is largely ignored in the comments on this page. I believe that a Union will work toward solving our enrollment problems (supposing that we don't keep winning basketball championships), and that it will offer many similar payoffs to the administration AND students. Along the same lines, I have faith that the administration would not block student input on the new union if we vote "NO" on november 18 & 19. It would only hurt the project in the long run!!
The hard fact is that as much as Gilbert, or I to that matter, tell you
we KNOW, we will really never know until the project is actually finished.
Unfortunately, there is no way to morph into that time to make our
on this upcoming referendum. Until the vote on November 18 & 19, I will
continue to try my hardest to get students aware of the issues and strive
give student opposition to this referendum a voice across campus.