Students at Fresno State to vote on whether a new $80-million student union will be built

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Students on Tuesday began voting in a three day referendum to a $200 a semester fee to build a new 100,000 square foot student union in the center of campus. (KFSN)

Shiny balloons, free rice crispy treats, and Dutch Bros. Coffee-- anything to entice Fresno State students to show up and cast their ballot for what is expected to be a crucial vote.

Students on Tuesday began voting in a three day referendum to a $200 a semester fee to build a new 100,000 square foot student union in the center of campus. The fee hike would not kick in until the project is done and the building opens in four to five years.

"Students now wouldn't be affected by it, it would only be students who were enrolled and actively going to school the year it opens," said Gina DeYoung, Fresno State student.

In between classes, students take advantage of the current student union; whether it is to study or unwind at the Bulldog Bowling Alley or grab a bite to eat. Some say the university has outgrown a building that is nearly 50-years-old-- the proposed $80-million union would be built just south of the current student union.

"It was built for 10,000 students and our current student population has changed so dramatically now we have over 24,000 students," said Colin Stewart, Associate Dean for Student Involvement.

But not everyone is supporting the $200 fee-- especially after tuition was recently raised in a board of trustees vote.

"I think the cost of education is fine the way it is, and I think there are already so many people who are struggling to pay for tuition that the cost increasing will either limit systems or decline the numbers of people who want to enroll in college altogether," said Claire Copher, Fresno State student.

Students can vote either online or at on-campus polling stations-- a typical vote will draw about 10-percent of the student body but officials are expecting those numbers to increase this time around because of the potential of another added fee.

"We're meeting students where they're at-- we're making it as easy as possible so they can get informed and get the information that they need so they can make that informed decision," said Stewart.

Fresno State will announce the results of the vote this Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
Related Topics:
educationconstructionfresno statefresnoFresno - Northeast
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