Midterm Part IV- Ella Gummer

EMU construction will wrap up summer 2016 and winter 2014 for the SRC

EMU construction will wrap up summer 2016 and winter 2014 for the SRC

EUGENE, Ore.- With the promise of raised tuition fees to pay for various campus renovations, university students have mixed feelings about whether the price hikes are necessary.

The Erb Memorial Union and Student Recreation Center will receive funds from private donors and student fees to update their facilities. Beginning Fall 2014, Each student will be charged $38 for the SRC expansion and $67 for the EMU per term, making a total of $315 per year.

Student and SRC employee Wilkins Kato said that expansion of the Rec would be helpful in meeting the needs of the growing number of students, even if current students will not get to reap the benefits.

“There were people in the position before us who paid for the renovations that exist now,” Kato said “they pay for stuff they’re not gonna use. But that’s just the way it works.”

Although the renovations will not be finished until sophomore Julia Sholian has graduated, she said that she is willing to support it for the benefit of future students. “It’s something that’s worth spending money on,” she said.

Senior Natalee Dyer whether past voting on the issue had any point. “The group that was pushing for the renovations were going to do it no matter what,” she said.

According to the renovation website, the EMU, which hasn’t been updated since the 70s, “lacks many of the amenities and attributes and student programming space found within modern student unions,” and hosts systems and infrastructure that are past their life span and would be more expensive to fix than to replace. The Rec was built to accommodate 2,500 people per day, but more than 4,500 students use the facility currently.

Students who have attended the university in the last three years are no strangers to rising fees, due to the exponential popularity of the University. Chris Parrott, a freshman who pays out-of-state tuition, thinks the renovations are unnecessary and too expensive: “To be honest, I don’t see why they need renovating.”

Other students, such as senior Shani Skeet, align with Parrott’s “don’t break what you can’t fix” perspective. Skeet, who also pays out-of-state tuition, said she doesn’t use the facilities enough to want to support them financially.

Senior Nicholas Hadley, who agrees that the fee increase is a little high, also thinks that the building is old and needs work. “If they wanted to they could have spread the payment out over a few years,” he said, “but when you look at the pipes, I mean a lot of them are held together by duct tape.”


About Ella Gummer

Ella Gummer is a fourth year Journalism and Spanish student at the University of Oregon. Her professional interests include gender studies, travel writing, media literacy education, and multimedia production. Hailing from Northern California where her large, hilarious family still lives, Ella now works, studies, explores, and gardens in Eugene with good friends and her fat cat. You can listen to her campus radio show, where she is known as DJ Boots, every Monday at 11am on KWVA 88.1 Eugene. Follow her on Twitter @ellaGummz.
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