By Ben Black
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 17, 1997

University should pay for Union


The campaign of "union yes, fee no" is on the right track, however I feel that a more appropriate slogan would be "A student Union that we already paid for through tuition." When we (U of A students) paid tuition it was under the assumption that all the buildings were complying with the fire code. If the Union is not, then we should not be deciding whether to pay an $80 a year fee, but whether or not tuition should be lowered because one of the buildings is not working properly. Maintaining the condition of UA buildings (should be and) is the responsibility of the regents and the administration. If they neglected their responsibility and let the condition of the Student Union deteriorate, then it should be them (the regents and the administration) that fix it.

A point, I keep hearing is that by agreeing to an $80 fee will keep the Union under student control. Well, I never was asked what was an appropriate price for textbooks were, and I was never asked what a reasonable price for a meal to cost at the Student Union. So, lets face it, if students were actually in control of the Student Union we must have one stupid student body because we decided to rip ourselves off by charging exorbitant prices for books and food that we pay to the Student Union. Frankly, students have always been taken advantage of at the Student Union. Consequently, it should be the people who make these incredible profits that should be paying for an improved Union, and not the students.

Here are some points I wish to conclude on. First, the timing of this referendum is really bad. This year the Union has improved a great deal with the renovation of the U of A Bookstore and the additions of McDonald's and a post office. All the money spent on these improvements would be wasted if the fee passes. Secondly, any student that feels that they ought to pay for a new Student Union should give UA President Peter Likins a check for $320 (the amount a four year UA student will be paying). I am sure he will be glad to accept your money. I also wish to applaud the efforts of "Union yes, fee no!" committee and the Arizona Daily Wildcat for taking the correct stand by saying "no" to this fee. Finally, I wish to say we do need a new Student Union, no, not a new building, but a student body that speaks up and says "I am tired of being overcharged and taken advantage of." I think that it is arrogant of the administration to pass the bill on to students for a building that was the administration's responsibility to maintain. The administration will keep trying to pass the buck on to us unless we, the student body, says think again administration.

Ben Black
Education senior


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