By Barbara E. Franklin
$40 union fee a needed investment in the future
This letter is in response to Kirk Sibley's editorial in Wednesday's, October 29, 1997, Daily Wildcat. I'm an older student and too, am concerned about the new Student Union fee. However, as a non-traditional (not a 18-22 dependent) student I am able to partake of an opportunity provided by Student Programs called "Lunches-N-Bridges" in the SU-NTS room every Friday at noon. It is a great opportunity to interact with faculty and administrators in an informal 'brown-bag' environment.
A few weeks ago we had Dan Adams, Director of the Student Union, with us for lunch. During the course of the conversation we learned a few things about the Student Union, the $40.00 fee, and the student referendum.
First, there are student leaders; not just ASUA affiliated, supporting the fee,which is not to exceed $40.00 at any time during its lifetime. This is NOT a tuition hike. The fee will be a capital investment very similar to the Student Recreational Center fee that the students of a decade ago imposed upon us and we reap the benefits. The fee is the same idea as the Student Recreational Center's fee EXCEPT that the Student Union fee has a completion date, a sunset, of twenty-five years.
Secondly, the referendum states that there will be a student advisory group with oversight responsibilities during the entire twenty-five years of the fee. This is important to me because I have a nephew, to whom my gift monies will go into a special UA college fund for 17 years, until his legs are long enough to belong to an eighteen years old college student.
Thirdly, ASU did not "get" their entire new Student Union. What they did get was a nice addition to an existing structure and renovations in the older part. I can personally attest that they have got the very same stairwells that I flew up and down as a high school student twenty-some years ago when I participated in a science fair. I'm from Phoenix and I'll admit I've recently and quietly gone onto ASU turf to study during weekend visits. I have not noticed any major structural changes to the ASU Student Union. Nothing much has changed since I was a student there for one semester 10+ years ago.
Lastly, I spoke to my father, a WWII veteran and UA graduate, about fee precedent. He told me that both he and my mother, along with their classmates of the 1940's and 1950's, paid student fees, which would be comparable to the $40.00 fee we currently face, for the initial construction of the Student Union.
If those students of 45+ years ago thought enough of our campus to envision such a structure, shouldn't we want a safe Memorial Student Union for future students too?
Barbara E. Franklin