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University Student Union fee increase unneccessary

The University Student Union is one of the best, so why should students pay for more improvements?

Ariana Sawyer, Opinions Editor

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A 15-pound ball falls with an echoing boom and rolls down the lane, followed by the hollow crash of the pins as they scatter. What better way to release a little academic stress than a bowling game between classes at the University Student Union?

According to a survey administered by the USU Board of Trustees and the Associated Students, Inc. Senate, 80 percent of students are satisfied with the present condition of the USU.

“As a transfer student, I didn’t take advantage of all the extra amenities that are offered to students,” recent California University, Long Beach graduate Chanel Weninger, 22, said. “But now that I am out of school, I wish I would have tried harder to be a part of a sport or club community because I won’t have another opportunity do so. Though a commuter school, I think CSULB does a great job of offering many different clubs and different interest groups.”

The many perks and activities that the USU offers are so impressive that Best College Values, a website designed to help students chose their ideal college, has just listed it amongst the top 30 student unions in the country. In fact, it was ranked fourth in the nation.

“The University Student Union at Cal State University, Long Beach has plenty of options, whether you are looking for a bite to eat, a place for recreational sports, including swimming and bowling, or just want to hang out with friends to play video games or watch a movie,” according to the Best College Values website.

In the article “30 Most Amazing Student Unions,” Best College Values said that it rated student unions according to their architecture, interior design, amenities and traditions.

Nonetheless, the USUBOT recommends that there be a $165 increase in the USU fee that all students pay during the fall and spring semesters, as well as an increase of $124 during the summer semester.

That means a total of $344 per semester and $258 for the summer session in USU fees.

The ASI website states that the fees will go toward “the construction, renovation, expansion, and operation of the University Student Union.”

If students are already satisfied with their student union, and if the USU is ranked among the top in the nation for its excellence, why should students have to pay twice as much as they currently pay?

With only a $50 increase in the fee, the ASI can continue to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of the USU, including seismic updates, while the students can save their money for the outrageously expensive textbooks they are required to buy each semester.

The student referendum to vote on this issue will be held online on Feb. 25 and 26 for any student who wishes to participate. I encourage a stance against the fee increase, as the improvements to the USU seem unnecessary in light of student satisfaction and the national recognition it has received.

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