Students learn about fee hike for EMU, Rec Center renovations

EUGENE, ORE. – University of Oregon Students shared mixed opinions about a fee hike for the Student Rec Center and EMU remodels which will begin this fall at the University of Oregon.

The fees will be exacted in the next two years and will rise each year, starting at $380 the first year. In January, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education voted to add the EMU renovation budget to the Oregon University System’s Capitol Budget, bringing in $84.3 million to help with the upgrades.

Front view of the Erb Memorial Union from the “Heart of Campus” on the corner of 13th and University Streets, on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Oregon.

Some students are in support of the upgrades, and deem the renovations necessary. Wilkins Kato, who is an employee at the SRC, provides a perspective of a student who occupies the Rec Center on a daily basis. “I can say that it is very helpful to expand,” he said. “I know students are unhappy with the fees, but people have to pay to help future students.”

Sophomore Julia Shollian, who is also in support of the renovations, said that it would be worth spending money on. “I know it wouldn’t be done during my time here but for future students it would be good,” she said.

Some students said that upgrading the buildings to a safe living environment  is more valuable than saving a few hundred dollars each year. Nicholas Hadley, who is a senior, also agrees with the upgrades, citing the frail state of the buildings. He said, When you look at the pipes, I mean a lot of them are held together by duct tape.”

Others think that the upgrades are not necessary. UO Senior Shani Skeete, said that she doesn’t want to financially support renovations to buildings that she does not use.

Natalie Dyer, who is an employee at the FISHBOWL in the EMU, is against the remodels fundamentally. “It was essentially a fake vote,” she said. “It was a matter of us saying yes now, instead of having them raising the fees later.” Dyer added that she does not pay for her own tuition.

Chris Parrot, who is a freshman paying out-of-state tuition, does not agree with the upgrades. “To be honest, I don’t see why they need renovating.”

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