SGA works to spend excess student fee money

SGA has taken part in complex discussion in the past few weeks on how best to spend the extra recreational student fee created when UNA did not purchase the Florence Golf and Country Club.

According to SGA Senator Allison Ray, students paid an extra student recreation fee for the potential golf course. The deal never took place, which left UNA with an extra $125,000.

Numerous ideas have been suggested and researched by SGA members and other students. A few of the main ones included renovations for Flowers Hall, building a disk golf course, an outdoor swimming pool, rock climbing wall, public announcement flat screens and more.

“We are not sure how we want to spend the money,” said Emily McCann, senate vice president. “Right now, we are looking into cost, feasibility and all possibilities.”

Almost all of these ideas were not met without noting the consequences of each project. Ray, who researched the possibilities of renovating the pool in Flowers Hall, noted that the cost will pose financial problems for UNA.

“To renovate the pool will cost half of a million dollars,” Ray said. “I’m not sure if UNA has that right now. It is in a real tight spot.”

The disk golf course was said to be feasible; however, it would most likely take away the traditional feel of the campus, as Senator Marshall Hess noted in his research.

During the discussion, many senators were opposed to the idea of an outdoor swimming pool because of how far the fee will go to maintain it.

“It is a huge expense, and $125,000 will not cover it,” Ray said. “That is where we need to know how the SRC is planning to help pay for it and maintain it.”

A vote was carried out during homecoming last week for SGA to find student perspectives of which project met their best interests. According to the polls, 20 percent of the students who voted, making the majority 20 percent, favored the idea of an outdoor swimming pool. Trailing behind this percentage is the 18 percent who favored additional MANE card machines.

“(We) hope to have a decision by next semester,” McCann said.

Until then, SGA is open to more opinions from the students, McCann said.

“I would like to spend the money on something that students will use the most,” McCann said.

Many senators in SGA agree the most important aspect in this decision is to put the values of the student body before their own.

“During the referendum vote, I try to advocate for what the average UNA student wants,” Ray said.