Jan 25, 2020
Renderings of the proposed New USU. (NewStudentUnion.com)

ASI president endorses New USU project in letter to The Collegian

I write not as the Associated Students Inc. president, but as a concerned student. One who will not benefit from a New Student Union nor suffer the consequences of keeping our current building.

It is no secret that the referendum vote would increase student fees when the building opens in approximately 3-5 years. But it is also no secret that our current University Student Union (USU) is not only insufficient but severely overused. There are over 1.2 million users and 3,000 meetings in our USU every year. Just last summer, I witnessed the ceiling of our current USU break and dump bathroom water on hundreds of incoming freshmen. This is a disgrace and a terrible first impression as new Bulldogs are coming to Fresno State.

If you are in a student organization, you know the impossibility of getting a simple meeting space. If you are studying for a test, you know the feeling of being shoved out of the library and into the USU, only for it to close shortly after. If you are vegan or have dietary restrictions, you know how narrow the food choices are.

A New Student Union is much more than a greater variety of food options, a 24-hour study space, more services for students, more meeting spaces and more recreational space. A New Student Union is necessary for our campus. It allows our campus to be on par with other world-renowned universities — like Fresno State is becoming.

Some say to vote in favor of this building is burdening future students. I say that voting against this project will burden them even more. Fresno State has a diverse population of 25,000 plus students.

I have no doubt that 50 years ago, Fresno State never dreamed that it would more than double its size. I would not be surprised if we are on the same path. Not to mention, Fresno State is one of the few California State Universities that has not built a modern student union and would still remain as one of the least expensive universities in the entire state.

Vote “YES” for a New Student Union.

Blake Zante is president of Associated Students, Inc. at Fresno State. 

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