By Henry Zimmerman, @hwzimmerman
Ames, Ia. – On the upcoming student government ballot, voters will find the option to vote for an increase in student fees that would channel money into the latest expansion and renovation project at the Memorial Union. The project is slated to cost $65 million dollars. Iowa State administration has agreed to pay $10 million. The remaining $55 million is expected to come from the proposed increase in student fees.
The proposed student fee increase would be implemented over the course of the next two academic years and would account for roughly 85 percent of the project’s funding, according to Memorial Union Marketing Coordinator Kristin Erdman. The current student fee is fixed at $27.55 per semester. The proposed increase would come in two phases, according to the Memorial Union’s website, first increasing to $57.55 in the fall of 2018, and then increasing to $99.55 in the fall of 2019.
The project is posed to increase the available seating in the dining area during peak hours, create additional studying space, expand the space for both the Multicultural Center and the Veterans Center and improve the building’s infrastructure and accessibility.
If student support of the fee increase is high enough, the information will be passed along to the Board of Regents, who ultimately have control over whether or not the fee increase will be implemented. If the students don’t support the idea of extra fees, there is still a chance that the Board of Regents will approve the fee increase. This referendum will help them make a more informed decision on the matter.
Students can vote on the referendum on March 7th and 8th.