Current Students React to Increase in Fees

A new set of student fees will be enabled to fund the rec center and student union renovations starting fall 2013.

By Rachel Davidson

University of Oregon students are annoyed, frustrated, and indifferent about the increase in fees for the renovations of the rec center and student union on campus.

Starting fall 2013, the funding for these renovations will come from students through increased “university” fees and could be an additional $300 per year for students, a 25% increase from last year. The average student will pay $38 for the rec center and $67 for the student union renovations per term. The amount is based on the number of credits a student is taking.

UO senior Sid Rivera, who works at the Holden Leadership Center located inside the EMU, explains his frustration with the increase in fees. “At first I was not okay,” Rivera said, “although it is selfish to be against the renovations, I want to be benefiting from it.”

The proposed rec center renovation will open January 2015 while the student union is opening summer 2016 according to the renovation website. Junior linguistic major Ariel Kane is also frustrated at the increase in cost. Kane said, “The amount is too high for some student to comfortably pay in addition to tuition.”

New EMU renovations will begin May 2014
photo credit: creative common licensed by rfduck on flicker

However students agree that these facilities do need to be updated. Rivera said the renovation of the EMU “is a necessary evil, and should be renovated.” Rivera was working inside the EMU when a Subway soda fountain splashed through a hole in the ceiling and “ruined all of their computers”. After the incident, Rivera was convinced that the 1950 student union building was “definitely falling apart.”

Senior Leigha Krick added, “the EMU does not have enough space, it’s disgusting.” Krick is a senior human physiology major as well as a group fitness instructor at the student rec center and is in favor of the renovations. “I don’t mind (the increase in fees) because I work at the rec center. People don’t want to pay taxes for public schools but expect great education. It is the same thing with the rec center,” Krick added.

Others like senior Virginia Hassel are indifferent to the increase in fees. “It doesn’t affect me so I don’t pay attention to it,” Hassel said.

The University of Oregon renovation and expansion website said, “These renovations will transform the center of our campus community into a destination that enhances the student experience, supports the UO academic mission, and engages the community at large.”

Some of the new renovations of the rec center will include 110,00 square feet of new space, expanded yoga studios, a 3-court gym, and a whirlpool spa.

However, University of Oregon junior Monica Lynn is unimpressed with the rec center updates. Lynn said, “It’s annoying. We have to pay for it even if we don’t use it.”

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