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Friday, November 20, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 64

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Max Lacayo/The Daily Cougar


Students' Association executives (from left) Dana Enriquez, Leigh Street, Monica Quintero, Tom Cassidy and Jose Soto await the Referendum 2000 results Thursday in the Cougar Den.

Students approve rec center proposal

Interim rec fee failed despite OK of $48M construction package

By Michelle Norton
Campus Editor 

"Recreation 2000," the proposal to construct an approximately $48-million student recreation and wellness center on the UH campus, passed with a 52.9-percent vote after an extensive campaign and two-day election.

Students, faculty and staff gathered Thursday afternoon at the Cougar Den to hear the results.

"We will be having a recreation center," said Chairwoman Trina Powe.

According to official referendum results, 4,965 total votes were cast.

"I think the voter turnout (in this election) was four times the turnout in the last Students' Association election," said Vice President of Student Affairs Elwyn Lee.

Dean of Students William Munson said he was excited that so many students turned out to vote. "I'm happy that the students have spoken on the issue," he said.

Proposition 1, which would establish a mandatory $75-per-semester student fee (or a fee of $12.50 per credit hour for students enrolled in less than six hours) for construction and maintenance of the new facility, passed by 289 votes.

"I think (the proposition) is a great opportunity for the University to continue to grow in student services," said Monica Quintero, the SA president.

According to Director of Campus Activities and Recreation Kathleen Anzivino, of the total number of votes, 186 had to be checked by hand because students' enrollment status was in question or the computer system showed they had voted twice.

However, she said only about 45 of the ballots actually proved invalid.

The next step in the planning process is for UH to seek approval from the Texas Legislature to establish the new fees, which must occur since UH is a state-supported school.

If the Legislature votes to approve the change, the proposition will come back to the University for approval by the administrative and the UH System Board of Regents.

Despite the passage of the first proposition, the second -- which would have established a $10 "interim fee" -- was defeated by a margin of approximately 12 percent.

Proposition 2's $10 fee, which would have gone into effect in the Fall 1999 semester and lasted until the semester the new center opened its doors, would have "finance(d) modest improvements in the current recreation program."

Despite the proposition's defeat, Lee said he would attempt to locate sources for improvement funds.
 

Reach Norton at
dcougar@mail.uh.edu.
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