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Student fee increases students’ hopes

October 11, 2012

Will Dearmon, Student Government Association president, addresses the SGA body at the weekly meeting on Tuesday. The Student Enhancement Fee passed by the SGA last year will fund projects like the new alumni walkway. - Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

 

SCOTT WALKINGSTICK
Staff Reporter

 

New parking facilities, recreational and parade fields, stadium field house expansion and the demolition of condemned dormitories are just a few of the projects the Student Enhancement Fee has improved and continues to work on.

 

Last spring, Tech students and the Student Government Association passed a fee that will also help improve several campus facilities and provide new outdoor classroom space.

 

The enhancement fee consists of a renewal of the “20 for 20” fee which helped build the newest facilities on campus including the $12 million Maxie Lambright Intramural Sports Center expansion. Eighty-four percent of students voted in favor of the $50 quarterly fee.

 

The top three projects underway are the continuation of the alumni walkway, demolition of the unused dormitories and adding more green space to the campus.

 

James King, vice president for student affairs, said these projects take time to develop.

 

“We have a contractor selected for the alumni walkway which is almost a decade behind, and we have about 20,000 names to put on it,” King said. “We should expect to have it starting up again around late fall.”

 

King said the demolitions are expected to happen late spring, possibly summer, depending on how the pieces fall together. Also, their are some sketches that show an idea of what that space will look like.

 

SGA President Will Dearmon said this fee is crucial to maintain student services and expand the university and campus offerings for all current and future students.

 

“From this one fee, Louisiana Tech will eventually rid itself of the old, unused dorms on west campus as well as a few old living apartments on south campus,” he said. “With the soon to be available space, Tech will add more green space that will serve the Band of Pride as a practice area as well as student club sports and intramural activities.”

 

Dearmon said another major aspect of the resolution was to dedicate funds to provide a more adequate and better functioning athletic facility for all Tech athletes.

 

The fee was passed while Clint Carlisle was SGA president in 2012 and according to The Tech Talk, Carlisle said he was inspired to know students help pass fees that will not directly benefit them during their time at Tech. Carlisle said that level of commitment is one of the greatest things about Tech students.

 

A great deal of credit goes to Carlisle who shared his vision with the students, got the fee on the ballots and worked tirelessly to gain its passage, said Reneau.

 

Reneau was also quoted saying this was only the second time in 25 years he has asked for a specific fee to be passed and these resources will greatly enhance the academic and student life resources that are available to students.

 

Leah Stevens, a junior communication design major, said while no one is ever exactly thrilled about fee increases, this fee will help Tech’s extremely unfavorable dormitory situation and having lived in one, this is welcome news to her.

 

“It means a lot that they finally wanted to do something about the dorms,” Stevens said. “Residential life getting attention is just the best news ever. If all we need is a reasonable fee increase to help this, I am all for it.”

 

Stevens said she is ecstatic about the future landscape our campus and school will take and said Tech’s focus should be improvement in all areas.

 

According to King, this program will impact numerous programs across campus and will pay tremendous dividends in the future.

 

“The fee, coupled with other benefactors, put the university in a position where it is able to advance,” King said. “In this difficult time, the students are putting the campus in a positive direction. It was a popular fee with the students and I am glad to see them stick together.”

 

Students may have noticed a continuation of the alumni walkway which the new fee made possible.

 

“Being recognized as a Tier One university and moving our athletics to Conference USA are both monumental achievements for Tech,” Dearmon said. “This Student Enhancement Fee was a measure taken by the student body to guarantee all students access to innovative facilities for decades to come.”

 

Email comments to rsw020@latech.edu.

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