by Jacob Solis
Senate approves $152,000 for new ASUN Center for Student Engagement remodel after lengthy debate
In a 14-4 vote, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada senate approved $152,000 for a remodel of the ASUN Center for Student Engagement on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union. The money will come from ASUN’s capital account, itself funded by profits from the Wolf Shop.
The remodel is largely the result of the work of ASUN President Caden Fabbi, who has aggressively lobbied the senate over the past few months. Back in August, the senate approved a $20,000 fee to draft up a concept for the redesign.
That design came back with an estimated cost of $138,000 for construction, though that figure does not include the planned insertion of furniture and technology into the space. Coupled with a 10 percent contingency budget of around $14,000, the total cost will likely be around the $152,000 approved by the senate.
Despite Fabbi’s efforts, some senators remained unconvinced. Sen. Alex Crupi of the College of Engineering called the expense “a waste of funds.”
“The entire time through my campaign, all I ever heard from students was that ASUN blew money on stuff that students didn’t use,” Crupi said. “In the dozen or so clubs that I’ve been a part of in my time here, never once was it a concern that I wished I could collaborate with other clubs somewhere. ”
Crupi and his fellow dissenters, Sens. Austin Mathias, Makayla Ragnone and Sam Bruketta, were largely worried that the expense to create the new space would be lost if no new students came to visit the Center for Student Engagement. They noted that the space had been renovated once before to include the so-called “freshman hub,” and that the hub has largely failed to attract any student interaction, least of all freshmen.
Fabbi was dismissive of these concerns, saying that the blame for the failure of the hub lie in its design. He added that to succeed, every senator would need to push hard for students to visit and that advertising alone wouldn’t do the job.
New associate justice appointed to ASUN judicial council
Zachary Burger’s nomination to one of two open seats on the ASUN judicial council was roundly approved by the senate. The senate was impressed by his resume and was confident that his background in strategic communications would be more than useful for the judicial council.
Only one of the four associate justice spots on the judicial council remains unfilled.
Jacob Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.