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Student Union expansion fails

POSTED April 6, 2010 9:20 p.m.
The proposed $27 million expansion to the California State University, Stanislaus University Student Union was voted down by students last week in a landslide.
A total of 798 students cast ballots in the referendum, held on March 29 and 30, with 646 opposing the development and 152 in favor.
The development would have been entirely student-funded, eventually adding $300 per year in student fees. Proponents had hoped to woo voters by progressively implementing the fee, with students paying just an extra $50 in the coming year.
According to Byron Kamp, executive director of the University Student Union, the project’s positives may have been drowned out in the midst of recent campus events.
“The overall dynamics of what is happening on campus just worked against us,” Kamp said.
The potential costs of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s impending visit for a CSU Stanislaus Foundation fundraiser have dominated discussion in recent weeks. The lingering effects of March 4 student protests over rising state tuition costs have also left students budget-conscious.
The project would have nearly doubled the size of the Union, renovating the existing 30,310 square feet while adding 22,235 square feet of new space for campus life, events, and commuters. Additional space for clubs, a large multipurpose room, and a sports grill restaurant highlighted the proposed plans.
The Union expansion was brought forward by the University Student Union Board of Directors, the nine student, six faculty and staff member group that oversees the union’s operation, after nearly two years of planning.
While the project was voted down handily, Kamp said he advised the Board of Directors not to shelve the idea of expansion.
“We want to pursue all the other avenues that may be available for the board to look at how we might be able to do this down the road,” Kamp said.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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