Vote ‘Yes’ to the upcoming student fee referendum vote on October 4.
If you’ve ever been inside the Student Union at peak hours, you understand just how crowded the current building is. Peak lunchtime lines go up to an hour waiting for a Chik-fil-a sandwich, and once you get the food it’s hard to find anywhere to sit. The Galaxy rooms are constantly booked and busy, snapped up by every club that can get their hands on the best meeting room. Anyone who’s been at UTD for any significant amount of time knows that it’s high time that more space was made for students to eat, interact and be merry.
As VP of Student Affairs Gene Fitch said in the article above, “There’s never a good time to come to students and ask them to support a fee increase.” But the proposed increase for both the Student Union Fee and the Athletics fee is long overdue. It’s been over 20 years since the SU fee was increased, and the athletics fee hasn’t been increased since it was instituted.
UTD has grown significantly. And while some students don’t participate in student life, there is a large amount that do. Over 400 clubs and organizations now exist that are officially registered with the Student Organization Center, and every single one is vying for meeting locations inside and out at all times of the week. The newly proposed SU building offers more meeting rooms, dedicated spaces for SG and the Graduate Student Assembly to meet, dance studios for club reservation and much more.
And even if you don’t participate in any student clubs at all, the new building will have plenty to offer you. With its new study spaces, more food options, more places to hang out with friends in between and after classes, the proposed building provides something that has been sorely lacking in recent years: space.
If you’re an outgoing senior, you can vote to benefit students in the future. If you’re a freshman, you will likely see the results of the referendum in full by your junior or senior year. And if you don’t think you’ll get to see the benefits of the fee increase anytime soon, you will, as The Pub renovation into a multi-floor gaming lounge within a year will already provide a glimpse of changes to come.
The athletics fee increase will also address the ongoing issue of space. A new track and field facility, expanded locker rooms and training facilities are all to be supported by the fee increase. This will open up new opportunities for Comets across campus to take advantage of bigger and better athletics facilities, as the new track and field stadium won’t be gated to only the athletics teams.
New student facilities benefit everyone, and increasing student fees to being on par or lesser than most other institutions in the state is a reasonable cost for making them. So when the email comes in October 4, we urge students to vote yes, for the sake of both the current population and all students to come.