The Student Athletics Fee Initiative failed by 40 votes and the Recreational Sports Fee Initiative failed by 212 votes in yesterday’s final Spring Election tally.
The Student Resource Building Fee Initiative, which needed 63.19 percent of the vote, passed by nine votes. The $33.33 quarterly fee – $21.49 in the summer – will help pay for the building, which will house the Office of Student Life, the Campus Learning Assistance Services and the Educational Opportunity Program, among others.
Student Advisory Fee Committee Chair Ira Munn, who has worked on the initiative since he was involved in the 1998 walkout, said he was surprised and ecstatic it passed.
“I received word at 4 o’clock [Wednesday] that numbers were down a couple hundred votes,” he said. “Even though I was on the phones calling people, I’d pretty much assumed it had not passed.”
A building planning committee – made up of students and some faculty, with students maintaining the majority – will form by the end of this quarter, Munn said.
The Graduate Students Association (GSA) is issuing a challenge to the initiative because of discrepancies during campaigning and tallying process, GSA Internal President Jessica Winston said. The GSA believes the number of students tallied for voting on the campuswide initiatives was less than the number of students voting on Associated Student initiatives, Winston said.
Campuswide initiatives are tabulated on a sliding scale, which calculates the votes needed based on a five-year voter turnout. Since this year’s voter turnout (21.7 percent) was lower than the five-year average (28.5), the initiatives needed a two-thirds majority instead of 50 percent plus one to pass. If the number of students voting for the initiative is less than 20 percent of the student population, the initiative will automatically fail.
The Student Athletics Fee Initiative, which needed 62.35 percent, received 61.07 percent of the vote, while the Recreational Sports Fee Initiative garnered 56.61 percent, short of the necessary 63.19 percent.
Attorney General Sarah Thibodeaux said a clearly written measure and wide publicity informed the students and helped the Student Resource Building initiative (SRB) go through.
“This is a good turnout for SRB because two years ago when it failed, it failed badly,” Thibodeaux said. “They had positive campaigning, pretty well dispersed. … I think that’s what made up for the vote.”
A.S. President-elect Brian Hampton, a Gauchoholic, said he was disappointed more students didn’t vote, even though athletes and other students campaigned.
“It was sad that there was such a low voter turnout,” he said.