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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Some students could opt out of union fee

    The 2003 renovation project of the 42-year-old Park Student Union included a “”facelift”” and small expansion, but not major work like repairing the roof structure, director Dan Adams said.

    The renovations were planned to make the PSU more handicap-friendly to those in wheelchairs, Adams added, because those individuals were required to use a freight elevator to get upstairs.

    “”It presented a pretty dangerous situation,”” he said. “”And then we realized we had a lot of other expenses that could also be included in the project, but we only had so many dollars.””

    Infrastructure expenses – including a new roof – were too costly to put on the project budget, he explained.

    But after three years of patching leaks, Adams said it’s time for the roof to be replaced.

    What’s wrong with the roof? Didn’t they just renovate that building?
    -Chris Gonzalez, pre-pharmacy junior

    “”We’re finding more and more leaks,”” he said. “”We’re getting closer and closer to the point where you can no longer just do nothing.””

    Students can opt out of union fee

    Students who don’t want to pay a $40 student union fee could opt not to if they can prove they aren’t on campus enough to use the services or programs in either of the two student unions.

    “”This option is a way to handle the students who rarely go to campus,”” Adams said. “”These students feel they don’t have use of the union facilities and they would not benefit from what the fee would bring.””

    The money generated from the fee would be used to rebuild the Student Union’s shrinking reserve fund, repair and renovate buildings and add more programs for students.

    If approved by students in a special election April 11 and 12, students would pay $20 a year in 2007. The fee would increase by $10 each following year until 2009, when it would reach the maximum $40, Adams said.

    The fee would apply to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. However, not all of these students go to the unions, Adams said, so it would not make sense for them to pay the fee.

    New roof not included in PSU renovations

    If the $40 student union fee is approved, the Arizona Student Unions can pay for expenses like a new roof for the Park Student Union without dipping into its reserve fund, said director Dan Adams.
    Within the next year or two, the Student Unions expect to pay about $400,000 for a new roof and related labor expenses, Adams said.

    Students who may commute to the UA from other parts of town or neighboring cities like Sierra Vista could also apply to opt out of paying the union fee, he said.

    If a student doesn’t want to pay the fee, he or she has to submit an opt-out application to an 11-member student committee that shows “”just cause for their exemption”” from using the unions, Adams added.

    The committee needs to ensure that students who wouldn’t benefit from the union fee wouldn’t have to pay for it, said Bridgette Gallagher, University Activities Board president and committee member.

    “”We recognize there are students who absolutely never set foot in the unions and they wouldn’t feel the impact of a union expansion,”” Gallagher said. “”They should have a way to not be charged.””

    Before waiving the fee from a student’s tuition, the committee would need to know the student wouldn’t be using any services or programs in other parts of campus that would be funded by the union fee, said Gallagher, a political science senior.

    A portion of the fee revenue will be used to renovate the delis next to the Eller College of Management and University Medical Center. The fee will also fund campus-wide computer upgrades and a support system for student-parents, according to the budget.

    “”At first, a student might think they won’t see any of the benefits from the fee, but I think a majority of students will in different kinds of ways,”” Gallagher said.

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