University Centers Fee May Increase $39 Annually

    According to a Feb. 8 presentation led by University Centers Interim Director Sharon Van Bruggen and John Hughes of the Student Life Business Office, the University Centers budget went into the red during the 2010-11 year.
    The proposed fee, which is pending Council approval, increase will go towards the essential maintenance and needed repairs of University Centers.
    “Without action, the budget will go into deficit and reserves will begin sliding to zero due to needed facility repairs and replacement projects,” Van Bruggen said in the presentation.
    Each student currently pays $76.50  per quarter for the University Centers fee. If the referendum is passed, students will pay $89.50 per quarter.
    According to Van Bruggen, the new fee is lower than university center fees for other UC campuses — students at UC Irvine pay $110 per quarter and students at UC Riverside pay $136 per quarter.
    According to a 2010 facilities condition analysis conducted by ISES Corporation, essential maintenance and repairs to Price Center are estimated to cost around $6.4 million.
    This includes $2.6 million for Student Center, $722,000 to the Che Cafe and about $4.5 million for required renovations for each of the facilities.
    Operational expenses and maintenance include the stocking of Price Center’s restrooms, printing supplies, heating and cooling and trash collection.
    According to the presentation, the $13 fee increase will allow for continued building maintenance and  24-hour access Sunday through Thursday to Price Center East.
    The fee would also help maintain low-use fees for meeting and events sponsored by student organizations and A.S. Council.
    If the referendum passes, the new university centers fee will go into effect during Fall Quarter 2012.
    The fee will be adjusted annually beginning Fall Quarter 2013 to account for inflation and consumer price index.
    According to the presentation, annual adjustment will not exceed 2 percent.
    The quarterly $13 fee increase and consumer price index adjustment is expected to yield over $20 million during the next 20 years for University Centers.
    The University Centers Advisory Board, which is composed of undergraduate and graduate students and Van Bruggen, will be responsible for overseeing the fee.
    Warren Senator and Chief of Staff for the Office of Student Life Jeremy Akiyama could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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