May 16, 2005
Students voting whether to raise fees for
events center, other projects
By Louise Donahue
Three major campus building projects, including a new multipurpose
events center that could seat up to 4,000 people, are on the
ballot as students vote this week on whether to increase their
The events centerthe most expensive project on the ballot--would
require a fee increase of $175 per quarter. Concerts, graduations,
athletic competitions, theater performances, and large speeches
and rallies are among events that could be held in the new space,
which would be built on the south side of the Wellness Center.
If approved, the events center--with an estimated price tag
of $61 million--would be the largest project ever authorized
by students at UCSC. It would fill a major gap in campus student
life facilities, said Gail Heit, associate vice chancellor of
Student Affairs. "There is no indoor venue where a substantial
number of students can come together," she said. I
was amazedmost community colleges and literally all the
CSU campuses have student life and recreation facilities that
exceed what we have at UCSC. As for a comparision with our sister
UC campuses--well, even if all of these referenda passed--we
would still be light-years behind.
Students would not begin paying additional fees for projects
until the construction is completed.
Other referenda on the spring ballot include:
A multiuse outdoor/soccer/field sports venue ($45 per
quarter), with a lighted field and seating and amenities for
up to 2,000 spectators. It would be primarily for soccer, field
sports, and other special events.
Renovations and expansion of the Student Health Center
($27 per quarter) to modernize the dated and inefficient clinical
space to accommodate the increase in student population since
the center was built in 1969.
Additional funding for UCSC'S NCAA Division III teams,
intercollegiate clubs, and intramural sports and events ($24
Dan Wood, executive director of student activities, is working
with a large student committee that formed to promote the events
center, additional sports funding, and outdoor soccer venue.
These three projects have something for every individual
on campus, he said.
If the fee measure for the Health Center is approved, the building
layout would be changed to allow more patient privacy and overall
efficiency, said director Les Elkind.
The center needs to be updated in a serious way,
Elkind said, noting that the current Health Center layout is
that of a hospital rather than a modern campus health center.
The facilities-related fee proposals have been in the works
for several years. Consultants hired in 2001 conducted focus
groups, surveys, and planning sessions to see what student life
facilities were needed.
The consultants came up with several recommendations, including
a student union and renovation of the Quarry Amphitheater, Heit
said. Fee increases and budget cuts in the intervening years
delayed moving the recommendations forward, but student interest
revived some of the proposals in time for the 2005 elections.
For each of the facilities fee measures, more than 10
percent of all currently enrolled students signed petitions
to put the measures on the spring ballot," Heit said.
Student Union Assembly candidates and several smaller fee increases
are also on the ballot, which will be conducted online from
May 17 through May 23.
Detailed information on each measure is available on the campus
elections web site at elections.ucsc.edu/elections05/ballot.html
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