Click here for the fee breakdown. (Google Sheet)
This comprehensive proposal outlines a plan to transform and revitalize the University Center (UCen), to address some of its most pressing and longest-standing needs. The original facility, now more than fifty years old and last updated in 1994, was designed to accommodate 17,000 students. As of Fall 2017 UC Santa Barbara now has more than 25,000 students and 6,800 faculty and staff, and with an expectation of more students enrolled in future years, these facilities are no longer able to support the needs of our growing community or keep up with the ever-changing and increasing technological demands of the current or future generations.
This proposal asks students to approve a fee to help finance the new construction and renovation costs for the UCen facilities, as well as fund additional operating costs associated with the added square footage and re-purposed space; if approved, the revitalized UCen will increase student access to programs, services, and facilities, improving their efficacy, and deepen their impact on our student body. Characterized by the facilities listed below, plans for the new UCen envision it to be the heart of campus where students congregate, eat, socialize, study, relax, work, debate and collaborate.
Current plans in this project include the following:
- 24/7 study space with individual and group spaces, quiet zones, and student-requested features such as on-site access to food, beverages, white boards, electrical outlets, electronic charging stations, and drop-in tutoring.
- Increased classroom and meeting space for free or affordable student services such as CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and C.L.A.S. (Campus Learning Assistance Services).
- A permanent home for A.S. Bike Shop with expanded internal and external workspace and storage space.
- Expanded space for the A.S. Food Bank and other on-campus resources combatting student hunger.
- A new “Health and Wellness Center” to support students’ physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. The Center would include space for yoga, massage, meditation and lifestyle classes (e.g. managing stress, healthy cooking, money management, etc.).
- An “Innovation Laboratory” that provides students with space to explore technology, create new modes of production, and collaborate with fellow students and/or faculty members. Features of the Lab would include a 3D printer, laser cutter, power and hand tools, state-of-the-art electronics, and work stations.
- A 150-seat theater-style classroom, and an indoor dance and performance space that will be available for students free of charge.
- Improved restaurants and food options, including a new campus pub.
- Infrastructure upgrades to resolve plumbing, roof and general maintenance issues.
This fee will pay for the final design, programming, renovation, and construction costs of the new Ucen. Additionally, per systemwide and campus policy, this fee includes a built-in 33% return-to-aid component with almost $55 million in financial aid available to be returned to eligible students over the life of the fee.
The initial fee will begin in Fall of 2018 at $21.40 per undergraduate student per quarter (including summer),and will last for four years. Of the $21.40 collected, $5.31 is for return-to-aid, $1.02 is for a 7% NSFAS Assessment, $0.32 is for a 2.3% ETS Common Good Fee $0.15 is for the 1% AS recharge fee and $14.60 will go to Operations and Maintenance. The new facility is expected to open in Fall 2022 at which point the fee will rise to $96.06 per undergraduate student per quarter (including summer). Of the $96.06 collected, $23.83 is for return-to-aid, $1.05 is for a 7% NSFAS administrative assessment, $0.15 is for the 1% AS recharge fee, $0.33 is for ETS Common Good Fee $44.56 for Debt Component, $11.14 is for Debt Coverage and $15.00 for Operations and Maintenance. Once debt is retired, currently projected for 2052, the fee would be reduced to eliminate the debt component (how much is owed for the building). The reduced fee would then be voted on for reaffirmation every 2 years by undergraduate students.
To subsidize the fee increase, the UCSB Office of Development has agreed to partner with students to solicit (raise funds) from potential donors that could significantly offset this fee.
Do you support a new fee, starting at $21.40 per undergraduate student per quarter in Fall 2018 and rising to $96.06 per undergraduate student per quarter including summer beginning Fall 2022, to revitalize, modernize, and improve the University Center facilities?
It’s clear that UCSB’s current UCen is not meeting the changing needs of our student community. Over the years, as our student body has grown, it has become a tarnished and underutilized space, and students and staff alike agree on the need for vast improvements.
The “Our NewCen” will provide the funding to transform and revitalize the current UCen to become our campus’s hub of intellectual, social and recreational activity. Thoroughly planned with student input, the “NewCen’s” design is intended to foster connections among students, faculty, and staff, and provide countless learning opportunities outside the conventional classroom. And its impact on UCSB students is meant to extend beyond their undergraduate years to last a lifetime.
The NewCen would include the following features, among many others:
o 24/7 study space with individual and group study spaces with quiet zones, and student-requested features such as: on-site access to food, beverages, white boards, electrical outlets, electronic charging stations, and drop-in tutoring.
o Increased access to free or affordable student services such as CAPS and C.L.A.S.
o A more accessible Bike Shop that has much needed increased internal and external workspace and storage space.
o Expanded space for AS Food Bank and on-campus resources for students experiencing hunger.
o A new “Health and Wellness Center” to support students’ physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.
o Per systemwide and campus policy, this fee includes a built-in 31% return-to-aid component; this means nearly $55 million in financial aid will be generated from this fee and returned to eligible students over the life of the fee.
Even if plans to create a “NewCen” aren’t approved by students this year, it’s likely the current UCen fee will need to be increased in the near future in order to fund additional repairs and improvements beyond the next ten years. It’s not a question of “if” this renovation and expansion will be needed, but “when.” The longer our student body waits to act on this need, the more expensive it will be for future students.
Previous generations of UCSB students contributed to the many beautiful facilities we enjoy today, such as our Rec Cen, and in that same regard, let’s create a “NewCen” that future generations of students can use and enjoy, and that all generations of Gauchos will be proud of.
Mental health is a big issue on this campus and the proposed plans for the “NewCen” includes the creation of a much-needed preventative health & wellness center to address this. This will expand mental health services and give students a whole new facility to reduce test-anxiety, social, physical, and mental stress by having free on-site features such as: relaxation services, therapists, mental health peer counselors, yoga classes, and meditation and prayer room.
The food bank is only open 3 days a week and serves over 2,000 students weekly. The food bank is in need of expansion and a re-location to a more accessible and visible location. The “NewCen” proposal will triple the size of the food bank to be able to provide more free and nutritious meals for hungry students who cannot afford it otherwise.