As the deluge of emails and chalk campaigns have surely informed you, that mythical edifice known as Union South will finally open to the public today.
Plush new chairs to lounge in, a Sun Garden to enjoy for two months of the year and a freaking rock climbing wall, all within a brisk 20-minute walk from the heart of campus.
And engineers up and down Regent Street rejoice.
But before we give way to the abundance of propagandic celebration over this eco-friendly agora and go grab a pitcher for ourselves, this board thought it appropriate to remind the upperclassmen just how we got here, and perhaps inform the younger students for the first time.
In the spring semester of 2006, the Student Union Initiative to rebuild Union South was voted down by this student body – twice. That’s right, with a strong 22.4 percent of students turning out to vote in the spring that year, the majority of students voted against a significant raise in their segregated fees.
Unwilling to take no for an answer however – or follow any of the base rules of democracy – SUI somehow managed to convince the Associated Students of Madison that the issue should go to a vote for a third time in the fall of 2006, on the super efficient paper-ballot system of all things because DoIT experienced some “technical difficulties” with the first few attempts where students voted no.
This time around SUI mustered up enough yes votes for the issue to finally pass.
Of course, it wasn’t that hard considering only 6.59 percent of students handed in the well-distributed and advertised paper ballots.
So in the spring, 22.4 percent of students vote with the results saying “no,” but the 6.59 percent turn out in the fall has the final say with the “yes” vote in hand?
Yup, that makes sense.
With a total of 1,691 votes in favor, segregated fees were increased by $96 per semester (starting in 2009) for the next 30 years. That and the cost of democracy on this campus can get a new building erected.
Still, it isn’t all bad. The new union has a killer drink special going on.
Pay $768 for the first beer, and they cost just $4 a pop for the rest of your degree.