What you need to know before voting: The complete referendum guide

Referendum to be voted on: What you need to know about a possible new facility on campus/ WSU Student Union entrance. Photograph: Michael Krieger/The Guardian
Referendum to be voted on: What you need to know about a possible new facility on campus/ WSU Student Union entrance. Photograph: Michael Krieger/The Guardian

Wright State University Student Government Association (SGA) released findings from their campus-wide survey which was conducted from February 18 through March 1.

Anticipating the next phase in the push for a new recreation facility on campus, the campus-wide referendum vote will become available throughout next week.

“Wright state is losing many potential students to other universities that provide superior student life experiences,” states the passed resolution to hold the referendum vote. “In an attempt to provide a more superior student life experience for the students that call Wright State home, the Student Government Association believes it is necessary for us to create additional resources to meet this need.”

The resource that SGA is heading would bring an independent recreation facility to campus.

Background:

The current Student Union (SU) facility houses a recreation center along with several other amenities that provide for students but have become dated.

The current structure was built in 1969 with additions and renovations throughout the 70s and 90s. The most recent renovation of the SU was in 2006 with space still limited for the needs of the community.

Last semester, members of SGA began to push for data and research on ways to improve our current campus; an independent recreation facility became the focus initiative.

In late February, a survey was conducted of the 15,000 students by Brailsford and Dunlavey.  The goal of the survey was to determine if there was an interest. The survey also determined which of the three different types of recreation facilities students would be interested in and the resources inside it.

The responses overwhelmingly voted for the initiative, choosing the concept that allowed for more spaces, courts and other amenities. The construction of a new building would result in the renovations of our current SU.

The referendum that SGA will be sending out to the student population on Monday, April 8, will allow the community to decide if this is a project to proceed into the next phase of completion.

If the referendum passes, it will move to the next phase of being approved by the WSU Board of Trustees and then to the Chancellor of Higher Education.

A student advisory committee will be created, with members of SGA actively playing a role and general student body members weighing in on decisions.

The breakdown of the proposal:

SGA broke down all the amenities they found the campus community wanted and looked for ways to improve the current situations of classrooms and facilities:

  • Kinesiology and Health, athletics such as club sports, recreation and programs are currently competing for time and space at the Nutter Center
  • Students are currently traveling to the Nutter Center for classes
  • A new facility would mean more student employment opportunities

The fee:

According to the proposal, a campus-wide student fee would consist of $260 per semester added into tuition.

This would be allocated to construction, operation and maintenance costs toward the new facility as well as renovating the current space in SU.

That fee would not be implemented on student tuition until after the construction starts, which is anticipated for 12-24 months after all approvals.

This fee allows for the initiative to be a completely stand-alone, self-sustaining facility.

SGA believes that with state capital funding, students could see a lower fee.

What this facility will include:

  • Basketball courts
  • Turf field
  • Weight and fitness center
  • A multi-purpose and group exercise space
  • Pool and diving well
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Racquetball courts
  • Locker rooms
  • Classrooms
  • A tunnel connecting the new facility to current WSU tunnels

One of the goals that SGA made for this independent recreation facility was to become one of the most accessible recreation facilities in the country.

What will happen to the Student Union?

Once the recreation facility would be complete, the current SU would see massive renovations.

Below are ideas to be able to provide more entertainment, gathering space for students, organizations and meeting space:

  • A sports bar
  • Theatre/Auditorium
  • Gaming areas
  • Gathering space
  • Student organization offices
  • Craft project room

When is voting available?

The voting will begin Monday, April 8, and conclude on April 12 at 5 p.m. Students are able to access the vote through their student account on wings.wright.edu.

Survey results:

  • 43% of survey participants voted for concept 1
  • 22% of survey participants voted for concept 2
  • 20% of survey participants voted for concept 3

In a presentation by SGA President Daniel Palmer, nine Ohio universities showed the number of square feet dedicated to student recreation space compared to one another.

Wright State fell last, compared to schools such as University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green and others.

Their average amount of square feet is around 150,000 while Wright State hovers around 60,000.

Freshmen accounted for the largest population in the survey voting for the facility.