Jennifer N. Stewart

Associated Student Government (ASG) proposed spending thousands on a survey to evaluate Miami University students’ willingness to fund the Bicentennial Student Center (BSC).

Student Body President Jonathan McNabb said this survey will discover what students want in a student center and how much money they would be willing to pay for a new student center.

Price negations with Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc. contracting firm are still underway, but as of Tuesday McNabb said the overall price estimation was $20,000. According to McNabb, since Miami has used Brailsford & Dunlavey’s firm before, Miami will receive a discount.

“We see it as a wise investment in the future,” McNabb said.

Compared to typical prices for hiring a private contracting firm this price is a deal, McNabb said.

“I realize this survey is expensive,” said Adam Clampitt-Dietrich, president of the student senate.

McNabb said a free online poll wouldn’t yield the best result. Hiring a contracting firm will pinpoint realistic student views.

“It will make the process more professional, so we get accurate results,” said Vice President of Student Organizations Andrew Ferguson.

Since BSC fundraising efforts have slowed due to the ongoing recession, Clampitt-Dietrich said this survey will focus on financing the student center, especially since construction prices are lower than ever.

ASG will use funds from remaining student organizations’ budgets from previous funding cycles. Ferguson said money that student organizations fail to spend each funding cycle is given back to ASG. A portion of these funds will go towards funding the survey.

ASG will pay a maximum of $15,000 toward the survey.

“Hopefully it will be less than that,” Clampitt-Dietrich said.

The Parents Council and administrators will also help fund this survey.

The Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc. contracting firm was hired by Miami and put on the 2007 Student Center Feasibility survey.

McNabb said these survey results would be in before winter break.

In the 2007 survey, 90.6 percent of students agreed that building a student center was important to them. It also revealed that Miami students needed more lounge space, study space, dining options and offices for student organizations.

Clampitt-Dietrich said student concerns haven’t changed much since 2007, therefore, the survey will focus mostly on financing the student center.

In 2007 this survey took course in multiple phases, including online surveys and small focus groups. Ferguson said Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc. would likely bring in a team of 5 to 10 people to survey Miami students.

“They know what questions to ask in a non-biased way to get results you need,” McNabb said.

According to McNabb, numerous other universities and colleges use student fees to fund student centers.

Students at Ohio State University pay $50 a semester in fees that fund their student center. Currently $55 from the student general fee goes toward the Shriver Center.

Student senate will approve or reject this proposal Sept. 29.