Robin Holmes takes EMU remodel plan to ASUO Senate

The discussion about remodeling the EMU and Student Recreation Center took a step forward Wednesday when University Vice President of Student Affairs Robin Holmes attended the ASUO Senate meeting to explain the status of the plan, which is taking criticism for its funding model. Afterward, Senate — without contention — plowed through requests from 21 student groups, accepting a total of $13,865 back into its surplus account from 16 of the [email protected]@

The University has received flak about one key issue for the expansion of the student facilities: the use of student fees from students who will not use the new buildings. The proposed new fee would add $30 per term to what students pay next year, $60 the year after, and $100 each term from that next year until the bonds being taken out are repaid.

Holmes said that such a fee is not unprecedented, and the University has used it before for buildings students use today.

“99 percent of the time, when student buildings are built, students pay 100 percent of the price,” Holmes said.

Students took surveys on the proposed renovation during the last school year, but several senators had wished the student body had more of a traditional vote on this issue.

“I really think bad precedence would be set with students not voting,” Sen. Marissa Garcia said. “It’s a public university; there should be students voting.”@@

But Holmes said those working with this proposal thought the comprehensive survey was a better way of getting the student voice. That survey indicated a large amount of support for the proposed funding model from students.

The Art History Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living and Psi Chi each had line-item transfers because of overbudgeting for events. Each was unanimously [email protected]@

There was some concern on the Muslim Student Association’s request to transfer money from 14 other line items for calligraphy workshops. Sen. Kerry Snodgrass, a Programs Finance Committee senator, wanted to make sure that events that were budgeted during the PFC process were happening.

“It’s disappointing from the perspective of a finance committee senator to see events funded not happen,” Snodgrass said. “I just hope this doesn’t happen in the future.”

But the presenters said that money from other events wasn’t spent because they used other avenues to finance them.

Alpha Kappa Alpha, a service sorority, had a request for $933 from surplus to pay the hotel costs for a regional conference. That request was also unanimously approved after senators asked questions to clear up things that have been issues recently with funding conferences from the surplus [email protected]@

The International Student Association had a few requests dealing with costs associated with recent events. Two were transfers from the “food for coffee hour” line item, while the third was a request for $578. All three passed without opposition.

Paul Cziko, a University biology graduate student and opponent to University riverfront development, brought a resolution proposal to the Senate in response to University President Richard Lariviere’s recent announcement that the University would begin researching an alternate parcel of land for development.

The proposed resolution, Cziko said, would be to encourage Lariviere to continue pursuing this location.

“This is a positive development, and we need to support it in some way,” Cziko said.

Senators said they would want the resolution’s author to tread carefully. Sen. Brian Powell said the resolution the Senate already passed earlier this year said the same thing Cziko proposed and had ways he thought the resolution should be worded so that it was effective.

“I wouldn’t support a resolution unless it said something like, ‘I wouldn’t oppose building here,’ ” Powell said.

Sens. Katie Bidwell and Molly Bacon will be working this week with Cziko to craft a resolution for the Senate to vote on next [email protected]@

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