PUB remodel campaign growing

By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer

A date is set in place, Feb. 24, as a push from ASEWU toward students to vote for the PUB redesign in the weeks to come.

A poster, hung on the Pence Union Building, is one of the ways ASEWU is trying to get students’ attention regarding the future of the Pence Union Building.

“I love the fact that it’s a big poster and that it catches the attention of every student,” said ASEWU President Dahir “D.J.” Jigre.

According to Jigre, more is coming to spread awareness and get the message across to students as to why a new science building is an important investment. Examples include flyers and open forums on campus.

Jigre said part of ASEWU’s retreat to Camp Reed in Spokane from Jan. 9-10 is to decide their next step.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, announcements of the remodel were found above seats on STA buses, on coffee-cup sleeves and in ads in newspapers.

Jigre said ASEWU informed students through advertising rather than focused on education, which they are trying to avoid this year.

When it comes to the consensus of the student body, Jigre said it is 50/50.

“For those that are returners it’s more ‘Uh, man, again, why?’ and for those that are new it’s more like ‘Oh man, I’m excited. How can I contribute?’ That’s one of the reasons it’s 50/50,” said Jigre.

This reaction was expected, and Jigre said the ASEWU wants students to continue voicing their opinions.

Faculty are also voicing their opinions.

In response to ASEWU’s Jan. 8 Facebook post on the proposed remodel of the PUB, Stu Steiner, senior lecturer of computer science at Eastern, posted, “With the cost of tuition high already, why should the student shoulder the burden of paying for the [PUB]?”

Along with the PUB remodel, ASEWU is trying to get more students to speak up about a new science building.

Jigre said students can vote for a PUB remodel and advocate for a new science building, but they also need to know there are different processes to get the funding for each building.

For the PUB, students need to vote on it, and for a new science building, it is about advocating to the legislature.

The science building would be a state-funded project. The cost of a new building would not come from the students, but it does need student support.

According to Jigre, the student government, headed by ASEWU’s Legislative Liaison Jordan Martin, will work on a one-page proposal explaining why a new science building is important to the university. ASEWU will also try talking to science students to get their opinions.

ASEWU’s goal is to get students to travel to Olympia on Lobby Day to help advocate for a new science building.

For Lobby Day, ASEWU will pay for the buses and the hotels. Any student can sign up for Lobby Day if they want to advocate for the science building.

“Accommodations will be given to the students, it’s just a matter of if they have the time to leave for a day or so to go to the capitol to voice their opinion,” said Jigre.

This year’s Lobby Day is Feb. 16.

Jigre said ASEWU does not want to put too much of their own funding into something the state already pays for. Because ASEWU’s money comes from a student budget, funded by the students, they want to use it on projects that will ultimately affect the students, which is the PUB.

“They elected me to be able to make some changes happen, and I hope that they have seen those changes, one of the changes being that they at least see this building as something we not only look forward to but it’s for generations to come,” said Jigre. “I want students to know that this project doesn’t ultimately just affect me or this group of student leaders, but the whole aspect of Eastern and what it stands for.”