Amid announcements regarding Associated Students of Madison representative positions, the ASM Spring Election resulted in the decision that has been on the campus community’s mind for months: the approval of the Recreational Sports Master Plan referendum.
With 13,984 total votes casted March 3-5 in the election, there were 12,070 votes in favor of the plan aimed at renovating the recreational facilities on campus. By voting “yes,” students agreed to the Division of Recreational Sports’ outlined increase of a $108 maximum in student segregated fees. Additional funding for the $223 million project is set to come from the UW Foundation, the Athletic Department and the state of Wisconsin.
The Master Plan outlines changes to the Southeast Recreational Facility, the Natatorium and outdoor fields in the Lakeshore neighborhood near the Natatorium. Current projections mark planning beginning for the SERF as early as 2015, with the renovated facility opening in Summer 2019.
Rec Sports maintains the segregated fee increase will not affect students until the new facilities open. While the recreational facilities are under renovation, the Division said it will provide other means for students to work out, such as in the lobby of Ogg Residence Hall.
Though the plan has been approved, Rec Sports has stated additional funding could surface, which would allow for additions or changes to be made to the proposals.
Compared to past spring elections, voter turnout for the 2014 season saw a steep increase. This year’s election saw 34.4 percent voter turnout, compared to 14.9 percent turnout in 2013.
Newly elected College of Letters and Science Rep. Jessica Franco-Morales said in the future she wants to see student interest in ASM driven independently from the presence of a referendum.
“I think it’s actually kind of sad that we can only get this big of a turnout when there’s a referendum,” Franco-Morales said, saying the Master Plan component could have been students’ only reason for taking the time to vote. “Some of them might not have even cared about the ASM election.”
Representatives from Rec Sports were unavailable when reached for comment.
ASM Spring Election representative results
After tallying the 14,098 casted ballots in the Associated Students of Madison Spring Election—a 34.4 percent voter turnout of the total enrollment at University of Wisconsin-Madison—38 university students were appointed to represent various ASM positions for the 21st session.
College of Agriculture and Life Science/School of Veterinary Medicine
School of Business
School of Education
College of Engineering
School of Human Ecology, School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy
College of Letters and Science
John “JP” Paetsch
Alexander Charles Schultz
School of Medicine and Public Health
School of Law
Student Services Finance Committee
Senior Class President
Senior Class Vice President
Senior Class Secretary
Senior Class Treasurer