Funding for the construction and operation of the Bicentennial Student Center (BSC) has been a topic of heated debate, but Associated Student Government (ASG) student senate put its foot down with the unanimous passage of the Bicentennial Student Center Financial Recommendation Feb. 2.
Jonathan McNabb, student body president, presented the resolution to student senate before the floor was opened for debate.
Under this resolution, donations would cover 40 percent of the cost of the BSC and student fees would cover the remaining 60 percent, McNabb said.
Some senators were concerned about what would result if not enough donations were brought in to cover 40 percent of the BSC.
“A lot of the fundraising will be done before the construction starts on the building … if they’re not able to raise a certain amount before they break ground, they’ll have to wait additional time until the money is raised,” McNabb said. “(In that case,) we support them waiting until they get 40 percent.”
Audree Riddle, off-campus senator, was originally an adamant opponent of the recommendation, but after getting more information from McNabb, Riddle has given the recommendation her full support.
“In talking with a lot of my constituents off campus, we were really concerned with the amount of funding that was going to be given to the BSC and how that was going to really affect the other spending on Miami’s campus … there was a lot of concern that the students would be held responsible for a lot more than they were really actually in support of,” Riddle said. “After sitting with Jon McNabb, he really voiced how the bill was going to try to protect the students and how much the students were responsible for spending in the future.”
Adam Clampitt-Dietrich, president of student senate, described what the announcement of this recommendation actually means.
“Basically it says we know this is a necessity,” Clampitt-Dietrich said. “We’ve been telling you this is a necessity for the past 20 years or so, but here’s how much we’ll pay for it. It fits into these plans. It’s time for university advancement and our alumni networks to start raising money, because we’ll help you this much, and we’ll go from there.”
Clampitt-Dietrich said this recommendation is concrete.
“There are no excuses for the administrators anymore,” Clampitt-Dietrich said. “When they came back with the initial projections for last year and it was right around $125 million, we said no.”
After the ensuing debate with the administration about how much students should pay in fees to support the BSC, student senate passed the recommendation, which definitively states the maximum amount students are willing to pay.
A stipulation of the recommendation is that each student will pay no more than $125 per semester in student fees to fund the BSC.
The next step is for McNabb to present the recommendation and preliminary survey results to the board of trustees at their next meeting Friday, Feb. 5. Then McNabb and Clampitt-Dietrich will present the recommendation to university senate Feb. 8.
McNabb is optimistic administrators will be receptive to the recommendation.
“It’s been my experience that an administrator has been very in tune with what students want,” McNabb said. “(I believe) the recommendation will be taken very seriously.”