A referendum passed during the Associated Students’ general elections approved the creation of a new recreation center, but many students were unaware of the referendum or the impact it could have on their tuition.
“Do people who want a new rec center think about the financial aspects to the rest of the students?” asked junior psychology major Inez Galvin, who was unaware that a new recreation center referendum had been passed.
“I’m not happy about my fees going up,” said Amanda Rank, a psychology major who was also unaware of the rec center referendum.
The referendum allows for the creation of a new recreational center that will have many new amenities, which include babysitting services, a new outdoor pool complex, an outdoor field complex with artificial turf, a rock-climbing wall, a gymnasium with a jogging track located above it, free-weight space, fitness and cardio space, and courts that could be used for multiple sports, said Debra Hammond, executive director for the University Student Union.
Alisa Langford, a graduate assistant for public relations and marketing in the USU, said of the 1,571 people who voted, 57 percent voted for the center, 40 percent voted against it and 3 percent abstained.
“I didn’t vote for it. It looks like it would be definitely good. It just seems so expensive,” said Eddie DePiro, a senior information systems major.
Dan Monteleone, a member of the Board of Directors of the USU, felt that the students who voted for the recreation center were looking to the future of CSUN rather than the immediate costs to the student body.
“Just like the current rec center, they were willing to invest in their future,” he said.
Monteleone said that graduating students will have the opportunity to use the recreation center at a discounted rate when it is complete.
“We’re going to have a world-class rec center that’s comparable to the UCs,” he said.
“Part of the appeal of going to a CSU versus a UC is the cost. People have a hard enough time affording Cal State schools as it is,” said Alex Metea, a junior who spends no more time on campus than is necessary.
Bryanne Knight, executive secretary for the USU referendum committee, said she has already heard positive feedback from multiple students.
“They’re really happy that it passed. Most of them knew that it was kind of needed,” she said.
Student Kim Vaccaro disagreed, and voted against the referendum in the election.
“I will be paying for something that I will never use. That’s why I’m a poor student, because the fees keep going up,” she said.
The student fees will increase incrementally, starting in Fall 2007, until the 2011-2012 school year, when there will be a final increase of $130 per semester in addition to the current student fee of $120.
Monteleone acknowledged that the cost was one of the looming questions from the presentations that he gave to different clubs and organizations.
Audris Barnes, chair of the board of the USU, acknowledged that there was not much voter turnout for the referendum. “I would like that all students go out and vote,” she said.
Barnes did not know how the USU could have created more awareness regarding the referendum, and expressed disappointment that more students did not vote.
“Well, my fees have been increased every semester anyway,” said Christine, a junior math major. “You increase the fees with one generation, and the next generation gets the benefit of it.”
DePiro, who said he felt the student body could have been better informed, said, “Anything like that, with any of my financially uneducated friends, you could get anything passed.”