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Student Group KUART Opposes Student Fee Increase Funding Union Renovations

The campus group KU Against Rising Tuition (KUART) is urging Kansas students to vote “no” on an upcoming referendum this April asking students to pay $50 more per semester for the next 30 years to cover costs of renovating the Kansas Memorial Union.

Vice President Thomas Finch says other members of KUART have a number of reasons for pushing against the vote this spring, but one reason stands out to him in particular.

“The new building for the Burge Union has a fee of $18.70 for the entire construction of the building,” Finch said. “$50 per semester is just outrageous. That’s $30 more and it’s not even for a brand new building, it’s just for renovations.”

The money raised would go to renovating areas in the Union devoted to studying, dining, and community space.

“It’s basically a debate of do you want more costs at KU versus more ammenities?” treasurer Stewart Merz said. “With the current situation at the University of Kansas, and the state of Kansas with tuition rapidly increasing, we think adding $100 per year could price out a number of students who want to come the University of Kansas.”

Students will have the opportunity to vote on the referendum on April 12 and 13 during the KU elections.

“There are plenty of students who haven’t even been born yet that would have to be paying for this referendum if it passes,” Merz said. “The Union is a very important place on campus for students, but we need to make smart investments into the Union and not large, non-transparent investments where we don’t really know where money is going.”

KUART will hold a “Keep Your U” information meeting for students on March 21 at Hashinger Hall and March 28 in the Union Ballroom.