After years and years of students meeting, lobbying, blogging, discussing, proposing and campaigning for the Student Experience Center, the SEC officially passed late Thursday, May 27th.Â The Student Experience Center was approved with a total of 2,056 â€œyesâ€ votes which represents 69 percent of the total.Â There has been much excitement bubbling around campus about the possibility of a Student Experience Center.Â With the recent passing to increase student fees to fund the SEC, the future is bright for student involvement in the heart of campus.
For more information about the Student Experience Center and reactions around campus, please check out the Barometer article (see below), coverage from the Gazette Times and take a tour of the proposed building layout by clicking here.
Want to learn even more?Â Click here to take you to the Memorial Unionâ€™s Student Experience Center site.
Beavers support the Student Experience Center
69 percent of students voted in favor of the new building, which is set to open in 2013
Michelle Ofelt-Issue date: 5/28/10
“The location will strengthen the program, encourage more drop-ins and get more people involved,” Walhowe said. “I think it’ll make a huge difference.”
The Student Experience Center Special Election closed last night, and the results give hope to students and student groups who are in desperate need of relocating.
“At first it was a shock,” said Tiffany Perkins, SEC co-project manager and a junior in housing studies. “This was years of effort, and lots of students put their heart and soul into it.”
A total of 2,964 students voted.
“History is remade,” ASOSU President-Elect Andrew Struthers said. “The MU was passed by student referendum, too. The SEC will be a great thing.”
According to the official instructions on blackboard, 75 percent of the number of voters who participated in April’s General Election had to vote in this special election for it to be valid.
“We needed 2,250 votes, and, as of Thursday, we had the numbers for the ballot to count,” Perkins said.
For the SEC to pass, it had to receive 51 percent “yes” votes. Students overwhelmingly supported the building with 2,056 votes in favor.
“Our main goal was reaching out to the 18,000 fee-paying students and having genuine support,” Perkins said. “It passed for everyone who saw the bigger picture rather than just the building.”
The student center will provide more visibility for student groups and offer them an opportunity to work together.
“Snell is condemned, and we need to find a place for every club and organization in it,” said Struthers, a senior in finance and business information systems. “It will give students a place to go, too.”
The passing of the SEC measure ensures a smooth transition for existing student organizations in Snell Hall and provides future student groups a modern, safe place they can call home.
“Since we provide facilities for student groups, passing the vote means we have resources to give them a modern building that will be safe and accessible to all,” said Michael Henthorne, director of the MU and educational activities. “It will be in the center of campus and have some public space. Right now, Snell has none, so students don’t have a reason to go there.”
Now that the measure passed, student leaders are looking forward to the future.
“The next step is hopefully to find places in the SEC for the existing programs in Snell Hall and reserve space for future programs,” said Kevin Schock, ASOSU vice president and a junior in political science and philosophy. “We need to utilize space in a way that best serves the students, because once the building goes up we can’t change it.”
Upperclassmen may never step foot in the SEC, but they can rest assured their votes made a difference for others.
“I’m really excited the student body decided to leave a legacy,” said Jorge Michel, MU president and a junior in construction engineering management. “This could potentially be our MU. The voter turnout is an accomplishment in itself.”
Some students were unhappy to pay more in student fees, which will go into effect in the fall of 2011, with construction beginning in 2012. But others see it as an opportunity worth paying for.
“I voted ‘yes’ Wednesday night,” said Kaitlin Coffey, a junior in nutrition. “I think the new SEC would be good for all the activities, and I don’t think the student fees are that much.”
The central location of the new building is a major attraction. The Community Service Project believes relocating to the SEC will increase visibility and collaboration.
“The SEC is the single best thing to happen to CSP right now,” said Jared Walhowe, an Americorp volunteer at the CSP. “The CSP will relocate to the SEC, and we will have a much more visible location. Just based on the design of the building, we’ll have a centralized location of involved activities where we can facilitate cooperation with different student organizations.”
The building plans are intended to familiarize the student body with student groups.
As alwaysâ€¦.thanks for reading!