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Friday, May 17, 2024
Students petition against new union

e5ye: UW-Madison students are petitioning against the demolition of Union South, which is scheduled to commence in January.

Students petition against new union

A group of UW-Madison students are collaborating in an effort to stop the demolition of Union South, which is set to begin in January 2009. 


Students involved in the movement are from organizations on campus including the Student Tenant Union, Student-Labor Action Coalition, Wisconsin Student Public Interest Research Group, Campus Antiwar Network and College Democrats. 


Our only interest is preserving the students' rights as outlined in [state law]; we don't necessarily want to stop Union South from being built, just to pause it until a fair number of students have a voice,"" Tyler Junger, an Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee representative, said in a statement. 


Over 200 students signed an online Facebook petition Monday. 


Kyle Szarzynski, a member of Student Progressive Dane and the Student Tenant Union, said in a statement the main problem with a new building is the amount of money students will have to pay each semester to fund the project. As sanctioned through the passing of a 2006 ASM referendum, students will have to pay $96 each semester in segregated fees until 2040 for funding. 


""[Students] don't want to pay for a new union and at the very least they want the chance to voice their thoughts,"" Szarzynski said. 


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Chynna Haas, president of the Working-Class Student Union, said ASM recently passed a referendum requiring 15 percent of the student population to vote on capital building projects. 


""We just want ASM to hold the Union South building project to the same standard and that 15 percent of the minimum vote in that election instead of the 6 percent that voted previously,"" she said. 


The union's Vice President for Project Management Dan Cornelius said the project has been enumerated by the state Legislature, signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle and approved by the State Building Commission, as well as many city agencies. 


""We have an amazing building that really meets the needs of the campus community right now and will for generations to come,"" Cornelius said. ""Any delay that we have, the people it impacts are the students. It's less money that we have to put into the materials and into initial space in the building."" 


Several students of the opposition group plan to speak during the open forum portion of the ASM Student Council meeting Wednesday. 


""We can make a change with enough student pressure and if our voices are heard,"" Szarzynski said. ""If student council wants to have any legitimacy over the student body then they would ultimately adhere to our commands.

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