The latest contested building project at Sonoma State University is being pushed by students, not administrators.
Student leaders are campaigning for a $65 million student center, asking their peers to vote to assess a $150 fee per semester to help pay for the building.
A three-day student vote is set to start April 11.
“It will be a place for students to congregate, to hang out, to dine,” said Nicolas Carjuzaa, a student senator on the Associated Students Inc.
“What's in it is solidly in the interests of students, what students have complained about not having in the past,” Carjuzaa said.
There is enthusiasm on campus for the idea.
“I really want it to pass to liven up the campus,” said Oscar Salinas, a senior likely to graduate long before it opened.
But there also is resistance.
“It's just to look good,” said Maggie Wiley, a sophomore. “We need more classes, they cut so many classes last year.”
She added: “My parents can't afford it, we already struggle with loans.”
Junior Cinthya Cisneros said she will vote no because she is due to graduate next year.
“I think it would be great, there would just be no use for me to pay for it if I'm not going to use it,” she said. “It's not fair to students in my situation.”
A contingent of faculty long critical of SSU President Ruben Armiñana, who they say has sacrified the school's academic mission to pay for expensive building projects like the yet-unfinished $130 million Green Music Center, have chimed in too.
“The resources that will be required by the student center are much greater than what will be produced by the student fees,” said sociology professor Noel Byrne.
“Those (costs) really represent burdens that will be carried by other elements of the university for 30 years,” he said.
The center has been part of SSU's master plan since the mid-1990's.