Students Say No to New Rec Center

VESTAL, NY — Students at Binghamton University decided a new recreation center wasn't worth an increase in their student recreation fees.

The students voted in early March on increasing their student fees for up to $145 a semester for a $20 million upgrade of the university's East gym to create a new, state-of-the-art rec center. Currently, students pay $24 a semester for their fees, said Katie Ellis, director of communications.

The vote failed 55 percent to 45 percent with about 2,000 students voting out of the 11,000 student population.

“We're disappointed that the referendum did not pass,” said Rodger Summers, vice president for student affairs. “I think it would have been a great opportunity for the university to enhance the recreational opportunities for the campus community. It's tough to watch other universities offer more progressive recreational programs for their students. Our next step will be to review the needs of the building and examine other options.”

Although the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association hasn't compiled statistics on the pass/fail rate of referendums such as this one, Marketing Director Barry Brown said promotion is an important strategy when trying to convince the student body to get out and vote.

“Did the cons have more leverage and a better marketing effort than the pros? It takes a very concerted effort to educate students on the expenses versus benefits aspect of constructing a new rec facility,” he said.

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