Students want say in union redesign

Student Senate voted almost unanimously in favor of a resolution for a student perspective on the redesign of the new student union after a nearly two-hour debate Monday night.

Senate voted 26-2-0 on a resolution that requested:

 That Division of State Facilities, which manages the state’s real estate portfolio, provide a new estimate of the original building design in line with state averages. The estimate for the new student union’s initial plans was $48.8 million;

 DSF formally instruct architectural and engineering firms to estimate all design options using state averages provided in the DSF re-estimate report;

 Any money newly available from re-estimation be spent on anything in project budget other than architectural, engineering and DSF fees; and

 All redesign options brought to the Davies Steering Committee state additional fees connected to design options in the budget that involve architectural, engineering and DSF fees.

One of the co-authors of the resolution, Sen. Paydon Miller, said in order to write the resolution, two groups of students – those opposed to a redesign and those who took the Council Oak into consideration – joined forces to put the resolution together.

“There was a little bit of a disagreement within Senate between those two factions,” Miller said. “We thought coming to a compromise in that regard would be the best bet to make everybody happy and better serve the students.”

The discussion circled around two amendments proposed by Sen. Jacob Kampen and Sen. Phil Rynish. Both amendments failed.

Miller said he was a little surprised by Kampen’s amendment, but he didn’t think it was unreasonable.

Kampen proposed the third bullet point be removed because he said parts seemed hostile.

“I’m not really sure if all basis of the resolution was based on fact,” he said. “Some of it seemed based on hearsay to me. . It might have directed some of the dissatisfaction to the wrong parties.”

Rynish said he introduced the second amendment, which would have requested Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich to help raise private funds to pay for the fees, in partnership with the administration and the Foundation office, because of a pledge he made to Student Body President Michael Umhoefer.

Rynish said some people thought he proposed the resolution because the chancellor called for the redesign and it would ask him to help for the cost from that decision.

Even though Rynish knew the issue would be the subject of debate, he said he was surprised by the length of discussion in regards to the student solution, although he thought the student solution would pass.

“I kind of thought people would (like the amendment) just from the general sentiment . that I feel from the students,” he said.

Miller said he saw the second resolution coming and he would have liked it to have passed into the resolution.

“I felt like it was something that should have been put in because it kind of answered the question as to where the money was coming from,” he said.

Miller said he thinks this resolution is the best option for the campus because the redesign is a foregone conclusion.

“What we did here was just give the students a voice as to our disapproval of not being brought into the process . and asserting ourselves back into the debate,” Miller said.

However, Kampen doesn’t have as much hope for the non-binding resolution.

“I don’t really see it having much of an effect on the actual process.”