Posted April 10, 2015 by Cooper Point Journal in News

Winter Student Vote Results

CRC Renovation Defeated; WashPIRG and GSU Initiatives Passed

By Kathryn Herron

The results of the 2015 Winter Student Ballots are in. The Costantino Recreational Center (CRC) renovation fee was not approved, but the WashPIRG fee renewal vote and the Gwideq Student Union (GSU) fee advisory vote both passed.

Roughly 42 percent of the students who were eligible to vote actually took the time to do so, which GSU member Andrew Pawlicki-Sinclair calls “an unprecedented turnout that makes us the envy of other colleges.”

Students voted down the controversial CRC renovation, which would have added a $10 fee per credit hour to build a new athletic facility. A mere 30 percent of students voted in favor of the renovation, with 69 percent voting against it and roughly one percent of voters abstaining from the vote.

The proposal was to build a new Health, Wellness, and Recreation Center that would have provided students with access to gender-inclusive locker rooms and restrooms, a climbing wall and covered recreation area, a wellness garden and decreased maintenance costs. It was said that the project would also have made the campus itself more aesthetically pleasing and that it would help connect the upper and lower parts of campus. Students were asked to support the proposal by paying about $10 per credit hour, which would have equaled about $160 per quarter for students taking 16 credits. Though none of the students currently attending Evergreen would have seen these changes for themselves, they were promised the chance to come back and use the gym for free, for life as alumni.

It seems that the facts may not have been as clear to students before they voted. “I heard a lot of conflicting information about that,” said junior student Breeanne Reilly. “One person told me it was going to add $200 to the cost of my tuition and that we’d be paying the highest tuition in-state while other people told me it would only be $10 per credit. I just didn’t think it was worth adding that much to tuition to build more gender-neutral bathrooms.”

According to Pawlicki-Sinclair, “The CRC renovation project has been on the agenda for close to two decades.” The administrators of the group will be hosting a town hall meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29 to hear from students. “They want to hear why you opposed the proposal, but all students, whether for or against the fee, are welcome to attend,” said Pawlicki-Sinclair.

The WashPIRG fee vote passed, with 66 percent of students voting in favor of continuing the Evergreen WashPIRG chapter. WashPIRG is the Washington Student Public Interest Research Group, which organizes political action around environmental, consumer, higher education, and hunger relief issues. Students who do not wish to support the group can waive the $8 fee that keeps them afloat. According Tom Bellante of the WashPIRG money will be used to rent their office from Evergreen, and “hire professional staff to train students to run effective campaigns, making sure students voices are heard on the issues they say they care about.”

Sixty five percent of students voted in favor of the GSU advisory vote. This will allow the GSU to establish an independent fee rather than having to allow on money awarded by the S&A board. In addition, 75 percent of students approved the vote to amend the GSU constitution concerning the number of union representatives. “As of next year, we will have seats for an additional representative from the Tacoma program and another representative from the Reservation-Based/Gray’s Harbor program,” said Pawlicki-Sinclair.