Vote to expand Student Union passes

This+is+an+artists+rendition+of+the+interior+of+the+expansion+of+the+Student+Union.%0APhoto+by+OurNewSU+website

This is an artist’s rendition of the interior of the expansion of the Student Union. Photo by OurNewSU website

Sonia Lemus

News Editor

The referendum funding the $37 million expansion of the Student Union and the creation of an aquatics center passed on Monday, Feb. 26.

According to Associated Students Inc., 61.4 percent of the 1,768 students voted in favor of the referendum that was available to students through email from Feb. 21 and 22. There are over 10,000 students enrolled at CSU Bakersfield.

ASI published the results of the referendum on Feb. 26 on its official Instagram page. The post said about 17 percent of the student population voted. CSUB currently has roughly 10,000 students.

While this percentage may seem low, it is actually very high for a CSU campus, said ASI Vice President of University Affairs for Anthony Briseño.

“If we didn’t feel comfortable with the results, we wouldn’t have gone through with it,” said Briseño.

The votes were expected to be released on Feb. 23, however, the votes were not released due to more students voting than expected, some students not receiving the email, and counting Antelope Valley campus votes.

Briseño said all the votes were counted one by one by Ilaria Pesco, executive director of ASI, and EJ Callahan, director of the Student Union.

“They had a lot of votes, they wanted to make sure they were 100 percent correct,” said Briseño. “They wanted to seperate the AV campus from the main campus. Additionally, there was about 90 students that didn’t get the email because they are student staff, so the system recognized them as staff not students. We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to vote.”

Some faculty received the email, despite the referendum being only for students to vote on, and this also required additional revising of the votes.

“Some [faculty] were sent the email because the listing, IT [Information Technology] made a mistake,” said Briseño. “Ilaria and EJ did a good job searching through the votes.”

Despite passing the referendum, Briseño said he is still optimistic donors will appear to help reduce some of the out of pocket cost for students.

“There are donors, there are a lot of people out there,” said Briseño. “There is always someone in the community that cares.”

Now that the referendum was approved, the Student Recreation Center is expected to begin immediately preparing to construct the aquatics center.

Briseño said the expansion of the Student Union is not expected to begin in about three years.

This is an artist’s rendition of the interior of the expansion of the Student Union.
Photo by OurNewSU website