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Editorial: Student fee could be used for new coffeehouse and theater

In January, a lobbying committee petitioned for the addition of a $30 student fee to cover the cost of future maintenance and remodeling of the Student Recreation Center.


This $30 fee was initially created more than two decades ago to finance the construction of the Student Rec. Last year, nearly $500,000 was spent making repairs to the roof of the Student Rec.


The students of VSU have a big decision to make as to how the fee money will be spent, or if the fee should be continued at all. We at The Spectator feel that the new student fees could be better spent on something all students can use and enjoy, since all students don’t utilize the Rec Center.


As we’ve written recently, the former Ashley Cinemas building could be renovated and turned into a discount theater for VSU students. Since the building and parking lot are already there, student fee money could be spent solely on renovations and additions to the space. A discount theater for students would be a unique addition to our campus, setting us apart from colleges across the nation.


Another possibility would be a dedicated student retreat facility. The money could be used to renovate or build a structure near campus for students to use as a meeting and retreat space. Student organizations could reserve the space for special events, giving them an option other than the average meeting room or ballroom. The house would be outfitted with everything needed for longer, more heavily involved sessions of brainstorming and research.


If the student body would rather spend some money on their social lives or ways to take a break from academics, the money from this new fee could be used to create a new hub for student life and entertainment.


This new facility could house a café, where students can grab a cup of coffee or snack. Unlike the quick run to Starbucks most students make now, this new café could provide an open, inviting space for students to study and socialize.


The hub would include a stage, lighting and sound equipment, and enough seating to provide a space for local musicians and performers to showcase their talents. They could perform without requiring a student organization to coordinate and schedule an event through Event Services. Performers and speakers from outside the university could also be booked to offer students regular and diverse entertainment options.


These are just a few possibilities for how the $30 fee could be spent. Shawn Phippen, VSU’s Director of Campus Recreation, and SGA will be conducting a survey to determine what students want to see happen with the new fee.


It’s time for students to voice their opinions on what the University should do with their money. Students should be the dominant voice in deciding what the $30 fee should be used for.


This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.


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