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EMU Fee Stalled Pending Referendum

The student fee to fund the new EMU — which was going to charge current students for a building they were never going to get to usewill not be implemented next year. Not until there is a student referendum, anyway.

At a state Board of Higher Education meeting Friday, UO President Richard Lariviere withdrew the controversial proposal before it came up for discussion. Student leaders attended the meeting and were prepared to lobby against the fees, which ultimately would cost students $300 a year.

The money would be used to improve the aging Erb Memorial Union and expand the Student Recreation Center. Together, the projects are expected to cost $161 million, with $112.5 million coming from student fees.

UO student body President Ben Eckstein and other members of next year’s student government objected to the fees because students were not given the chance to vote on them. Some members of the state Board of Higher Education also had expressed reservations.

As a result, the university decided to wait and hold a vote on the fees after students return this fall, said Robin Holmes, the UO’s vice president for student affairs.

This is good news. Unlike the previous ASUO president, this one actually cares what students think. Nominal victory. But the administration, speaking through VP of Student Affairs Robin Holmes, seems to think everything will move forward without a hitch.

Stalling the fee will lose the project around $600,000 — $30 per student for fall term. Holmes is confident that the project will still move forward, however.

“I don’t anticipate this slowing us down,” Holmes said. “It’s okay to do the referendum and show we have student support and more forward with it.”

Our favorite anonymous professor over at UO Matters seems to think that admin agreeing to a referendum means they know the outcome. It’s very possible that students will still have to pay for a building before they can use it, including many who will not be around when it is completed. But at least students are being given a chance to express their opinion officially, and the outcome of a project is contingent on this student support or lack thereof.

  1. Maxwell says:

    Thank god, the space the OSU for things similar to what the UO uses the EMU for is infinitely more shitty than the EMU. We passed a referendum for ~40 million to build a new building, I know you pricks are fucking rich as fuck but $300/year for a building is about twice what OSU students pay and the EMU doesn’t have asbestos, leaking pipes, bad wiring and most importantly- the EMU hasn’t been condemned by the city, like Snell Hall Has been.
    “Snell Hall is technically condemned’

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