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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 21, No. 11, Dec. 6, 2001

Campus Rec student referendum passes

By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

A proposed student fee increase to support expansion of campus recreation facilities was overwhelmingly passed in a student referendum on the Urbana campus Nov. 12 and 13. Approximately 74 percent of the 5,459 total votes cast favored increasing the general fee by up to $77 per semester to support renovation and expansion of the Intramural-Physical Education (IMPE) and Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE) facilities. A 51 percent affirmative vote was needed for the referendum to pass. Urbana students cast their votes online through the university’s Web page.

Staff members were pleased with the voter turnout and said it was a strong indication that students support the expansion project, according to Tony Clements, Campus Recreation director.

"Most people who utilize the facilities are aware of our inadequacies to meet their basic need to have facilities they can utilize at their convenience," Clements said. "What we want people to understand is that this is not just about people currently in our programs but it’s really about how we can make facilities available to other people, especially faculty and staff who can’t get into our programs. It gives us the opportunity to provide facilities and equipment they can use at times that fit into their schedules without their having to sign up hours ahead of time or wait in line a couple of hours."

Students currently pay $165 per semester to support campus recreational facilities, and under the proposed plan the general fee would increase up to $77 per semester to support the renovations. The increase would be implemented in three phases beginning with a $24 increase in fall 2004 followed by $27 and $26 increases in fall 2005 and fall 2006 respectively, coinciding with completion of three phases of construction at IMPE and CRCE.

The UI Board of Trustees must now sanction the project before administrators can proceed with selecting an architectural firm or finalizing the designs. Gene Barton, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said administrators hope to take the project before the board of trustees at its next meeting, Jan. 16-17, in Chicago.

 



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