The decision as to whether to increase student fees by $209 every semester to renovate the current University Student Union Building fell into the hands of over 500 Stanislaus State students—most of whom will likely not be on campus to pay up when the fee comes into effect.
A total of 575 students—only 6.15 percent of total voters—came out on Friday to cast their vote in favor or opposition of the student fee increase for the University Student Union effective fall 2019. As of poll close 420 votes, or 73 percent, supported the increase of the current fee, while 155 votes, or 27 percent, opposed the increase. The vote needed to pass by a simply majority, 50 percent plus one.
“The University Student Union is seeking a change in building because the current building we operate is outdated,” Union Board Chair Natalie Dykzeul. “As an involved student in student leadership and student organizations, I have witnessed the need for the additions that the new building would have.
“Our Student Union does not represent what a Student Center should have on university campuses. This building should be the center of student life on campus, and with the space we have now we feel we are not offering that service. With the opportunity to renovate and expand we can better utilize the space we have to fit the needs of our current and future students,” continued Dykzeul.
Envisioned by the USU as “the students’ home away from home,” the new facility will include a sleeping room, which will contain sleeping pods to accommodate the high population of commuter students and anyone looking to rejuvenate between classes, a computer room, which will be equipped with up-to-date technology and software, and a student center, which will be a collaborative workspace that encourages student interaction and creativity.
Other project aspects include a sports pub, vendor space, conference rooms, a meditation room, auditorium, ballroom, the office of Student Leadership & Development, and bookstore. All students paying the fee, including Stockton students, will have access to the services and facilities provided in the University Student Union.
The existing size of the USU is roughly 50,000 sq. ft. The project will incorporate approximately 25,000 sq. ft. of renovated space along with approximately 11,000 sq. ft. of the existing bookstore space and roughly 45,000 sq. ft. in building expansion. The completed building will be 90,000 sq. ft.
The total cost of this renovation and expansion project is roughly $52 million. As per the projected budget, the associated bond financing will be paid in full 30 years after the facility opens.