By Jonathan Schmitt
November 18, 1997
Today and tomorrow you will have the opportunity to vote on the $80 Fee
for the Student Union. Last year during my term on the Board of Regents,
I fought hard to make the Union the #1 capital priority on campus. I feel
that this was accomplished. However, I do not think that an $80 Fee
should be the first option in funding this facility.
For the following reasons, I encourage you to vote "NO" on the Union Fee.
- A Student Fee should be the LAST, not the first financing option.
- Over $60 million will be taken from students over 25 years--this is an
excessive amount for students to pay.
- Alternative methods of funding have not been explored in detail -- as
President Likins has mentioned, the University should begin a fundraising
campaign to determine how much money will be contributed for the Union.
- This Fee would set a very dangerous precedent--the State Legislature
and Board of Regents would be much more likely to just "shove off" costs
to students in the future.
- The University does not know how much this building will cost. I make
it a point to know what I'm paying for before I blindly give up my cash.
- Both ASU and NAU have either built or renovated their Unions in the
last 10 years--without student fees.
- Up to 20% ($12+ million) of this fee will be spent on programs. Many
students who pay the fee will not use the programs; this is wrong.
Student programs have never been paid for through fees--they are a cost of
tuition. This is a budget issue that the Administration should rectify;
this shortage should not be passed on to the students.
I have no doubt that the University Administration will continue to
towards renovating our Union. The Fee is the wrong option and should be
defeated. This will force greater creativity in financing this building
that is at the heart of our campus. For the good of yourselves and future
students at the UA, VOTE NO.
Student Regent, 1996-97
1st year Law student