Student Government resolution regarding MU improvements postponed indefinitely


Dineh Bohan/Iowa State Daily

Corey Williamson, interim director of the Memorial Union, discusses the pros for increasing student fees to renovate the Memorial Union during the Student Government meeting April 19. The proposal was introduced by Senator Connor Theisen. 

Alli Weaver

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that the resolution regarding deferred maintenance needs of the Memorial Union has been postponed indefinitely, instead of tabled as the Daily previous stated. 

The Iowa State Student Government discussed a resolution Wednesday that would have supported an increase in student fees to fund previously deferred maintenance needs of the Memorial Union.

The resolution was postponed indefinitely.

Next semester, this resolution will likely be revisited and discussed, as the Senate concluded that there was an insufficient amount of information, time and immediacy for its passing or failing during the meeting.

The resolution comes after a referendum in the Student Government elections in March, where nearly 70 percent of the students who participated in the election voted against the raising of student fees in order to renovate the nearly 90-year-old building. However, raising the fees in order to fund the MU’s deferred maintenance needs may be another avenue.

Corey Williamson, interim director of the MU, said the fees will not likely be implemented during the summer, giving the Student Government more time to deliberate and interact with their constituents on the issue.

This fee would, according to David Moore III, former Student Government senator and former member of the Memorial Union Board of Directors, would be no more than an additional $15 to the current student fees should administration approve the change.

The fees that could be implemented would go toward repairs or replacements of piping, plumbing, parts of the roof, gutters and water damage, to name a few, Moore said.

“It’s not like there’s this unknown need for the progress we’re talking about,” he said. 

More than $8.5 million is needed for the repairs to the electrical maintenance needs alone, according to Moore. Along with this, Moore said that the walls and exterior need more than $1.75 million in repairs, and the air system, which has been there since 1965, needs about $5 million in repairs.

“It’s one of those things that is really hard to keep up with from a financial perspective,” Williamson said.

According to the resolution, the MU’s creation was funded by $1 million in student pledges, and states that “as the creators of the building, we recognize that we, as students, are responsible for its maintenance.”

The current student fees of $27.55 per semester go toward the bonds, which will be completed in 2030, for the Multicultural Center updates ($3.00) and a portion of the bond that allowed the additions to the south side of the building in 2008 ($25.55), according to Williamson.