Written by Gabriel Dillard
Fresno State students have voted against increasing fees by about $400 annually to help fund construction of a new student union estimated to cost about $80 million.
Students voted online over the last three days on the “Bold New U” initiative as well as for new Associated Students Inc. officers.
With a total of 3,228 votes cast — for a participation rate of about 14 percent — 1,846 votes were cast opposing the fee increase with 1,217 in favor.
The University Student Union Board of Directors issued the following statement regarding the vote.
“Today, Fresno State students made their voices heard and did not vote in favor of the construction of a bold new student union. While we are disappointed in the results, we will take this as an opportunity to reflect upon the many conversations that we had with the thousands of students that were for and against the initiative. We will continue to work with our campus partners and will not give up on the bold new U. There is still a need for a new student union. As the student body continues to grow and evolve, Fresno State needs a facility that meets the needs of current and future students.”
The board and the President’s Leadership Team said they will seek student feedback on the referendum process and begin conversations about a potential new referendum over the next year.
The current University Student Union opened in 1968, and at 52,000 square feet, was designed for a campus of 10,000 students, according to the university. Current enrollment is about 24,000 students.
The proposed Student Union & Faculty Center would span about 100,000 square feet and include features such as a welcome center, large tiered meeting room, retail dining space, study lounges, a student leadership center and an outdoor terrace.