Spring 2010 Voter Pamphlet
SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY ADVISORY STUDENT FEE REFERENDUM
MARCH 9-10, 2010 Polling Hours
Polling begins Tuesday, March 9th at 8 a.m. and concludes Wednesday, March 10th at 7 p.m. To vote, log into the SDSU Web Portal and click on the link to “Vote.”
BALLOT FOR THE SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY ADVISORY STUDENT FEE REFERENDUM ON A PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE STUDENT BODY CENTER FEE
Shall the current SDSU mandatory Student Body Center Fee be increased by $94 — from the current amount of $143 per semester ($9.58 per unit up to maximum of $113.38 for the summer semester) to $237 per semester ($16.58 per unit up to maximum of $187.38 for the summer semester) — effective in fall 2013 for the purpose of replacing and expanding the campus student union facility?
The proposed fee levels per semester, if this fee is approved, for all students at San Diego State University, except those exclusively attending Imperial Valley Campus, are as indicated below:
|2010-11 (current)||$143||$143||$9.58 per unit/$113.38 max.|
|2011-12 (current)||$143||$143||$9.58 per unit/$113.38 max.|
|2012-13 (current)||$143||$143||$9.58 per unit/$113.38 max.|
|2013-14 and thereafter (proposed)||$237||$237||$16.58 per unit/$187.38 max.|
The increase would be used to provide for new construction and operation of a sustainable/green design and expanded new campus student union facility anticipated to open in 2013 to enable services to support current enrollment and the projected enrollment growth. The existing Aztec Center opened in 1968 and was designed to serve a student population of approximately one-half the current enrollment.
Proposed Increase to Mandatory Student Body Center Fee
All students at San Diego State University, except those exclusively attending Imperial Valley Campus, currently pay $143 per semester for the Student Body Center Fee. In addition to user fees, the Student Body Center Fee pays for debt service and/or expenses associated with maintaining and/or operating Aztec Center, Viejas Arena, Open Air Theatre, Mission Bay Aquatic Center, Aztec Recreation Center, Aztec Aquaplex, SDSU Children's Center and Scripps Cottage. The Fee also provides for subsidized access for students to programs and activities within several of these facilities.
The Student Body Center Fee was initiated in 1963 and increased to $16 per semester by 1980. The Fee was increased in 1988 by $47 per semester to fund the construction and operation of the Student Activity Center (Viejas Arena and Aztec Recreation Center) and in 1994 by $8 to support Aztec Center and other programs. The Student Body Center Fee increased by $16 per semester in spring 2007 with the opening of the student-approved Aztec Aquaplex. In fall 2006, students approved a $56 per semester increase in the Student Body Center Fee ($11 effective fall 2006, an additional $45 effective spring 2010) for the renovation and expansion of the current Aztec Center.
In 2009, planning for the expansion and renovation of the current Aztec Center was put on hold due to higher cost estimates arising from the discovery of structural problems in the current facility, escalating construction prices and unattractive bond rates, and lower anticipated revenue from downward revisions in projected enrollments. At that time, in depth studies and analyses revealed it would be more cost-effective to replace the current facility with a new building rather than remodel it. In May 2009, the Associated Students Council determined that a plan to replace the current structure should be developed and that the project should seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification for the new facility. In December 2009, the Associated Students Council unanimously approved the proposed project design and budget, based on an additional increase in the Student Body Center Fee of $94 per semester to be submitted to the students in an advisory student fee referendum in March 2010.
This advisory referendum seeks input from students, except those exclusively attending Imperial Valley Campus, regarding a proposed increase in the Student Body Center Fee, which would be implemented in fall 2013, the year in which the new facility is expected to be available for student use.
SUMMARY OF BALLOT ISSUE
A “YES” VOTE FOR THE REFERENDUM MEANS: The Student Body Center Fee would be increased as proposed and campus student union facility will be replaced with a sustainable/green design and expanded new student union facility. The quantity and variety of free student union programming will be increased. The new facility will be designed to provide various gathering places for all members of the campus community.
The proposed complex will be nearly twice the size of the current Aztec Center Student Union and will be budgeted and designed as a LEED PLATINUM CERTIFIED (GREEN) building with sustainable materials and features. The new facility will include:
- New state-of-the-art individual/group study space and lounges with free wireless Internet access as well as a Commuter Lounge and student services including day-lockers and programming
- Increased amount and quality of lounge, study, and informal gathering space to establish the student union as a central hub of activity for students, faculty, and staff to socialize and connect as a university community
- Improved and expanded food service and new retail offerings
- Satellite student fitness center and recreation facilities with state-of-the-art equipment
- Increased quantity, size and variety of meeting and conference spaces to adequately serve the campus needs for free use by student organizations and low-cost use by other campus users for university functions such as student orientations, lectures, community activities, and conferences
- New LGBT Resource Center and Women's Resource Center, programming space to support student government functions, student organizations, and the Cross Cultural Center and a new Center for Leadership.
- Expanded office and workspace for student organizations, including private and semi-private offices, open office plan workstations, workrooms, graphic design space, storage, resource spaces, and conference rooms
- A multi-purpose theatre for movie screenings, lectures and student performances
- A new state-of-the-art bowling and games center
- A pub restaurant adjacent to bowling and games
- Increased quantity of usable, comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces
- Increased student employment opportunities, such as student facility managers, audio-visual and computer technical assistants, office workers, food service workers and program assistants
Additionally, the project may include the following sustainable/green design building elements:
- Vegetated roof
- Photovoltaic solar collection
- Natural day lighting
- Energy reduction
- Operable windows
- Radiant floor system
- Ground heat exchanger
- Sunshade devices
- Underground storm water storage tank
- Pervious paving
- Reuse of demolished building materials
A “NO” VOTE FOR THE REFERENDUM MEANS: The Student Body Center Fee would not be increased as proposed and the existing student union facility would be repaired for continued use without expansion in the level of services. Current operating and programmatic constraints in Aztec Center will continue, including but not limited to the following examples:
- Student organizations, student activities programs, and university departments must continue to limit student program offerings to conform to existing physical constraints in current student union meeting, conference, and programming facilities.
- The student union will continue to experience increasingly limited space availability for student orientations, meetings, lectures and special events.
- Additional student fitness and recreation facilities will not be provided.
- There will be no additional student union lounges, commuter student or other gathering spaces.
- Offices, resources and support space for student-life functions such as student organization and activities advising, leadership programs, and cultural organization programs will not be centralized.
- The level of existing food and retail services will continue as is for the foreseeable future, with no increase in seating, venues, or food choices.
- Technological and student programming capabilities in existing Aztec Center will continue to be structurally limited.
- Examples of the type of repairs that would be considered in the event of a “no” vote would be replacing major building systems such as plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning. Upgrades for the electrical system, conformance to current seismic building code standards, and hazardous material removal and/or abatement are also possible. Further upgrades to the facility would be possible, subject to availability of adequate funding.
FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: Aztec Center was built and is required to operate exclusively with mandatory student fees and program user fees, without the benefit of tax support or other university funding. The facilities are leased to and operated by the Associated Students of San Diego State University for the benefit of SDSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. Aztec Center's operations and programs are supported primarily from a portion of the mandatory Student Body Center Fee along with revenues from operations such as non-student sponsored meeting and conference room rentals, payments from sub-leased food and retail services. Currently, $24 of the $143 per semester Student Body Center Fee, and user fees, pay for expenses associated with building and/or operating costs in support of Aztec Center and related programs. The Student Body Center Fee was initiated in 1963 and increased to $16 per semester by 1980. The Fee was increased in 1988 by $47 per semester to fund the construction and operation of the Student Activity Center (Viejas Arena and Aztec Recreation Center) and in 1994 by $8 to support Aztec Center and other programs. The Student Body Center Fee increased by $16 per semester in spring 2007 when the student-approved Aztec Aquaplex opened. The original ModernSpace student union project and a $56/semester Fee increase were approved by student voters and implemented beginning in fall 2006 ($11 per semester and increased in spring 2010 by $45 per semester), and are currently being held in reserves and used for ModernSpace project costs.
The existing Aztec Center was built in 1968 for an SDSU campus roughly half as populous as it is today. It was built to support student services and facility needs as understood in the early 1960s. SDSU projects student enrollment to increase from approximately 30,000 students to more than 45,000 students by 2025. Modern standards for student union facilities, programs, services, comfort, security, technology requirements, and safety cannot be properly addressed in the current facility.
Aztec Center consists of 70,368 usable sq. ft. The new facility would add approximately 50,103 usable sq. ft. of new space for a total size of 120,471 assignable sq. ft. It is anticipated that the new facility will be ready for occupancy in 2013. Total project costs for the new facility are estimated not to exceed $98.2 million. The new sustainable/green design facility would significantly reduce major maintenance and repair and remodeling costs for Aztec Center, which have averaged more than $500,000 annually over the past five years. Current unfunded repair/replacement needs for the existing Aztec Center exceed $10 million.
The proposed increase of $94 in the current SDSU mandatory Student Body Center Fee, except those exclusively attending Imperial Valley Campus, will raise the Fee from the current amount of $143 per semester ($9.58 per unit up to maximum of $113.38 for the summer semester) to $237 per semester ($16.58 per unit up to maximum of $187.38 for the summer semester). The increase will be effective in 2013, the year in which the new facility is expected to be available for student use.
The increased Student Body Center Fee revenue, together with increased revenues from operations, is anticipated to adequately provide for the construction and operation of the new student union facility through the foreseeable future.
Prepared by the Campus Fee Advisory Committee
STATEMENT IN FAVOR OF INCREASING THE STUDENT BODY CENTER FEE
Thank you for taking the time to read my statement in SUPPORT of the ModernSpace New Student Union Referendum. I believe a new student union at SDSU is both necessary and vital to the growth of student life here on our campus.
Our current student union, Aztec Center, is over 40-years old, and grossly under serves the needs of our students today. While the student union should be “the living room of the campus,” and a central hub of activity, Aztec Center currently only services a small percentage of our student body.
Imagine a place on campus where all students can STUDY, EAT, PLAY, SOCIALIZE, LEARN, RELAX, and EXERCISE, all while being completely sustainable. Our new student union can be that place! SDSU can serve as a model that all other campuses want to emulate, and all other students are envious of.
The plans for the new project include:
- Greatly increased quiet and group study space in comfortable environments
- Additional food and retail space for more access to healthy food options
- A Pub & Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and patio stage
- Increased student organization office space, resource centers, and meeting room space
- Women's Resource Center, LGBT Resource Center, Meditation/Relaxation Resource Center
- Large courtyard gathering spaces for socializing
- A satellite fitness center with weight and cardio machines to serve the quickly growing east side of campus
- New state-of-the-art bowling and games center with access to the pub restaurant
- 300-seat Movie Theater for sneak previews and other weekly movies, open mic nights, and other performances
- Designed and budgeted for a LEED Platinum Certified sustainable “green” building
In my opinion, $94 is a very small price to pay for so many of these great amenities, which our campus is currently lacking. The fact that students will not have to pay the fee until the fall 2013, is even more of a reason for all of us to VOTE YES!
This is not the first time that students were put in a position to make a decision that would impact future students. Past students voted to increase fees for projects such as the ARC and the Aquaplex that they would not be on campus to enjoy. We owe it to future SDSU students to approve this project so that they, too, can enjoy a student union that will meet their wants and needs.
A failed referendum will be disastrous to the student body. Simply repairing the current Aztec Center and bringing the building up to accessibility and structural codes, without any added programs or services, would be a gross waste of student fees. Rebuilding Aztec Center is inevitable, and the time to do it is NOW.
Let's all be a part of something special and make history, as we approve funding for the first ever LEED Platinum sustainable &ldqu;green” student union in the nation!
Jeremy Katz, SDSU Senior
STATEMENT AGAINST INCREASING THE STUDENT BODY CENTER FEE
No responsive argument was submitted.