Place to call home’ possible

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

The Students’ Association passed a resolution on Dec. 7 to support the proposed northwest apartments moving into the Request For Proposal phase.

Senator Maria Tracy, one of the resolution’s sponsors, said SDSU needs more upperclassman housing to keep up with its peer institutions and other Division I universities.

“I think we need to provide that place to call home for upperclassmen on campus,” she said.

Tracy also added that construction prices are low now, and the university could save money by building now instead of later.

President Matt Tollefson, another of the resolution’s sponsors, said he has spoken with Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs, and heard a presentation by President David Chicoine about the project. Tollefson originally had concerns about the rental prices of the apartments, but he said Rames and Chicoine both talked about a survey last spring that found studentsare willing to pay more money for an apartment close to campus.

“They were very certain they would be able to fill those 300 rooms,” Tollefson said.

Eric Haiar, senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, said he was concerned that students are sick of construction.

“I understand the whole want to be progressing, but I am very hesitant to continue with all the construction,” he said. “Campus has not looked that good the last couple of years with all the construction.”

Tim Goldammer, senator for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said most of the other construction should be completed before this new project would start.

“We’re looking at going from having a lot of construction to having almost none,” he said.

Several senators had questions about the timeline, parking and specific prices and options with the apartments. Tollefson said some of these questions would need to be directed to Rames, and he said it was important to remember that the resolution was just supporting the project going to RFP.

“We want to take the next step in this is basically what we are saying,” he said.

Senator Patrick Weber of the Graduate School agreed, saying many of the specifics of the project will be decided after the RFP process. He added that when SDSU officials propose moving the apartments into the RFP process to the Board of Regents in December, they will need to show that students support the request.

“The Board will ask if students support this,” he said. “If they can’t say yes, then the board will shut it down, and we won’t be able to do anything at least for another year.”

The resolution passed by a vote of 22-2. Senators Ashley Dumke, Dave Leiferman and Rhianna Tuchscherer abstained from the vote. Senators Megan Schiferl and Hassan Ali provided the “no” votes.

Ali, a freshman political science and journalism major, said he still has questions about the project, and since he does not know if there will be focus groups, he is afraid students could be left out of the process later on.

“If we can’t get all our questions answered, I can’t support [the resolution],” he said. “We don’t know too much about the project, and I don’t think we can support this if we don’t know a lot about it.”