The Proposed Health and Wellness Center Vote
Coming up really soon is election season (March 7-13). You’ll be voting on the 2014-15 SGA President and Vice President, selecting who you want to represent you on the Senate, and, among a few other things, VOTING IN A HUGE IMPORTANT REFERENDUM. I’m gonna try to say some things about that which I hope will be helpful to you as a soon-to-be voter.
Recently, SGA voted to send a question to referendum about this big ole proposed project, which you’ve heard about as a Health and Wellness Center. I’m going to begin by saying that if you have ANY questions or want ANY information about this project beyond what I say here, contact me or any CPS senator or SGA directly, or check out the website where the whole project is outlined in really readable (and interesting and helpful) format:
^^^^^^GO THERE I MEAN IT^^^^^^
Because it’s going to referendum, a question about it will appear on the voting ballots this early March, and you will have a DIRECT PART in deciding whether or not this project continues. If you find it to be a good answer to campus demands, or you agree with it, then you’ll vote yes. If the referendum shows the majority of the student body wants this project to continue, it will continue. If you disagree with it, you’ll vote no. If the referendum shows the majority of the student body is not in favor of this project, it will not continue.
Student power, hey?
Alright. I’m going to do everything I can to be unbiased, because it’s my role as a senator and a representative of SGA and of you to just let you know what’s going on. It’s your vote, it’s your choice. I’m just here to let you know what you’re voting on. If I seem to be in favor one way or the other, PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT. I don’t want you to vote one way or the other. I want you to vote. Period. Specifically, I want you to vote and to mean it. That’s why I’m going to keep linking you to the website. There’s alllllll sorts of information, seriously. You will be the most informed voter ever.
SO HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED:
Two Health and Wellness Needs Studies were conducted to evaluate the supply and demand of campus services. These studies determined that there were some services that UWSP didn’t supply according to demand. Those services included intramurals, group fitness, strength/cardio, athletics, student health services, counseling services, university recreation sports, and university child care (the UCLCC in Delzell). This page has more information about all these services.
Then, UWSP went to an architectural firm and asked for their input on what the university could do in order to meet these needs for students. Kahler-Slater, the firm, used those studies to create the concept we’re going to be voting on.
The project for the Proposed Health and Wellness Center includes a lot of different things, the biggest and most talked-about part being this gigantic Health and Wellness Center building. This facility would be located just next to lot Q, across the street from the Suites. There’s a video map thing on the site that shows it. It would contain a four-court recreational gymnasium, fitness and cardio areas, student health and counseling services, the UCLCC (either to be attached to the HWC or freestanding nearby)—everything from the Allen Center and from Delzell would be moved into this facility, basically. The Allen Center would be re-purposed by the university; as it stands, Delzell is slated to be demolished within the next 10 years.
The rest of the HWC project includes expanded lighted recreational areas, including a big soccer field and NCAA compliant/certified track (next to the HWC building). These recreational spaces would be dispersed around campus a bit, and their construction would begin before the building.
If the referendum is voted through, students are agreeing that they are in favor of this project. That website has loads of really good information about it; I encourage you to check it out and make your decision once you’ve thought carefully.
Students will be the ones paying for this project, it’s true. That’s why this is a big vote—you’re deciding whether you think this is a good place for you to put dollars. The money will come from increased segregated fees, which every student pays alongside tuition. To answer a common question: the use of the cardio/fitness services will have no further cost than what students pay in the segregated fee. There will be no additional cardio center fee like there currently is in the Allen Center. But it still costs money, because the segregated fee is paying for the building. I hope that’s not confusing! Here is information about the costs for students of the project.
SGA will be tabling about this issue at the DUC and at Upper DeBot until the beginning of March, when elections week begins. Bring us your questions and thoughts. I am always available to answer questions if you have them! Or stop one of your senators—we are all getting reeaalllll familiar with this project. Arm yourself, and make the choice you agree with when you vote in March! Your vote decides how you want UWSP to look and to function. How cool is that?
Email me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Vida is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in family & consumer sciences and English.