A nearly split student body
Some students say they’re wary of the possible new fee, but Kittle said “it’s actually a great thing for us to go through” because it “expands the college.”
College officials said they gave out a campus-wide poll asking students if they’d be OK with the fee if it meant a better student center. Twenty percent of the student body (approximately 1,000 students) took the poll, officials said, with 51 percent supporting the new fee and 49 percent opposing it.
Members of the Student Advisory Council approved the project before administrators began developing their proposal to send to the Board of Regents for approval next month.
Freshman Lee Daniels said he’s concerned about the fee because he drives 60 miles round-trip from LaFayette each day he has a class. Since most state scholarships and loans don’t typically cover student fees, Daniels said paying it “out of pocket” could hurt his gas budget.
“I can see how expanding the student center might help student life,” Daniels said. “I just don’t really see a need.”
Montana Gray, a junior, said the student center would get more support if it was more “appealing.”
“People go to classes and they go home,” he said. “I used to attend Valdosta State (University) and they had a brand new (student center) and it was absolutely fantastic and it was full of students (even after class).”
Gray, who supports the expansion, said students shouldn’t see the fee as a burden.
“They should see it as an investment for the future,” he said.
The current student center, he said, is “outdated” and a bad first impression to incoming students or visitors from other colleges. If it’s the heart of the campus, it’s a “decaying heart,” he said.
With much of the campus growing around the student center — such as a new science building expected to open next year — it’s only logical to put money towards expansion, Gray said.
Russell Smith, president of the student council, agrees.
“It’s not about what we want to get out of it personally,” he said. “It’s just about what makes the school a better place.”