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Tri-Cities to vote on new student union building

By Madison Rosenbaum, WSU Tri-Cities student intern

tri-cities-campusRICHLAND, Wash. — Students at Washington State University Tri-Cities will be one step closer to imagining the possibilities of a student union building when they vote Sept. 16-18 on a $100 per semester fee for its construction. The fee would be ongoing for maintenance and repairs.

This follows a spring vote in which 74 percent of students said the campus needed a student union. A 2012 feasibility study showed that a 6,000-square-foot facility could meet the needs of the growing campus.

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WSU Tri-Cities campus by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services.

Areas designated for student activities on campus are severely limited, especially for larger events like barbeques, forums and concerts, said Alfredo Ramirez, student body vice president. Often, spaces for events overlap with quiet study areas, dividing the student community.

“The possibilities are limitless for new opportunities for student activities and services with creation of a space solely designed around the Tri-Cities student experience,” said Chris Meiers, vice chancellor of enrollment management and student services.

With a successful election, a student union advisory committee would be established to provide input through the designing and building phases in addition to long-term governance of the facility. Students could anticipate groundbreaking as soon as 18 months after final approval.

“The student union building is a key component to the future of the student experience on campus,” Ramirez said. “The building could be the beginning of a very exciting legacy we can leave behind for our future Cougs.”

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