Pass Student Success Fee, give natatorium to YMCA
How we’re voting:
YES – Student Success Fee
NO – Bayou Park Pool
NO – Event Center
Before we get into the discussion about swimming pools and event centers, let’s get the Student Success Fee out of the way.
This board is 100 percent in favor of renewing the fee. This fee is one we have already been paying, and $95 is such a small price to pay for all the events, resources and organizations that make college life so special.
Yes, it is unfortunate we are in a financial situation where this is the only way to fund them, but unless we have this fee, the spirit of the University will die.
Now, we can talk about pools.
Last semester when presented the option of renovating the pool or building a new one, this board was in favor of building a new one. We advocated change.
And since that time, things have changed.
The YMCA is on the right track. Since it took over, the condition of the pool has greatly improved. By most accounts, people are using the pool more now than they have in many years.
Clearly the community has strong feelings about the pool. In the long-term, satisfying the community will help the University move forward and close the gap between the “us and them” mentality around Monroe. We need to be one; closing the natatorium alienates the community further from ULM.
But here’s the best part: It won’t cost us anything if the YMCA completely takes over. They would actually lease the building from ULM. If the building continues falling apart, it will be on them to fix. If students aren’t using it, it won’t matter because we’re not paying for it anyway.
This board believes strongly that the future of the University would benefit from an event center. We agree whole-heartedly that ULM needs an event center to bring in large groups and host conferences.
However, we aren’t sold on the current plans for the event center. Rather than build a center to fit a building, let’s build a center to fit our needs. Let’s build a place with auditoriums, banquet areas and workshop rooms. We feel this plan would be more beneficial than the one currently suggested.
Students we’ve talked to express a willingness to pay for something that can propel the University in the future. None of those people think a “water park” is the way to go. Also, like we have said before, the idea of two pools on the campus is ridiculous, especially since we started this discussion because no one is swimming.
Let’s foster that willingness and build an event center that will be the pentacle of gathering places in Monroe. A top of the line event center is where the real recruitment opportunities lie, not in the Bayou Park swimming pool.
Let’s keep the community happy and save the natatorium. Next year, let’s foster our desire for a better campus and build an event center to exactly serve every need we currently have.
All of us – students, the community and the University – want ULM to be a place we all call home. This plan helps achieve that for everybody.