University of California, Riverside

2001 Student Election Referenda

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University of California, Riverside
Spring 2001
Commons Expansion Referendum
Thursday April 5, 2001

This referendum has been approved by the Chancellor and is a legally binding document. Please read the referendum carefully and cast your vote accordingly on the ballot below. It provides for planning to begin immediately. The new fee assessment would begin when the first major phase of the project is completed, Fall 2004.


This referendum acknowledges the campus community's interest in renovating and expanding the existing Commons to accommodate the growing social and cultural needs and demands of UCR students. It acknowledges that the existing Commons cannot accommodate tomorrow's student body that is projected to be 22,000 by 2010.

The existing Commons consists of food outlets, a passive recreation room, a copy center, the terrace rooms, and various student services organizational spaces. The proposed, New Commons seeks to satisfy the needs of students by providing expanded social, cultural, meeting, dining and other retail options.

Based on a recent survey of 1,500 UCR students the proposed Commons may include:

  • Expanded and enhanced food services to include multiple branded food outlets, and expanded seating areas
  • Study lounges, including a TV lounge, 2 — 4 person seminar rooms, and meeting/conference rooms
  • Retail areas, including ATM machines, Ticket Master, music/video, a bank branch, newsstand, and a variety of other retail services
  • Computer labs, postal services, and a cyber cafe.
  • Expanded office space for registered student organizations
  • Expanded meeting spaces
  • Activity spaces, such as a bowling alley, pool tables/billiards, games center, video arcades, an outdoor performance area and a theater
  • Expanded shaded outdoor patios and seating areas
  • Enhanced and expanded convenience store
  • Enhanced facilities for Student Programs and Student Service units presently located in the Commons

In the proposed New Commons, square footage ranges have been identified for several zones and are as follows:

-Student Space 50,000 — 55, 000 sq. ft.
-Food Service 25,000 — 28,000 sq. ft.
-Retail 6,000 — 9,000 sq. ft.
-Commons Management 2,500 — 3,200 sq. ft.

The proposed New Commons is expected to include approximately 150,000 gross square feet 85,000 new and 65,000 renovated. Specific usage and scheduling policies for the facility will be drafted and approved by the Student Commons Facility Governing Board, a governing group responsible for assuring that student priorities are considered foremost in program policies, procedures and practices for the facility.


Nonacademic facilities, such as the Commons, must be funded primarily through student fees established by a referendum vote of the student body. If approved, this referendum will provide funds for the expansion, renovation, maintenance and operation of the New UCR Commons. Registration fees will also be used to fund the New UCR Commons. In addition, to reduce the cost of the project for students, private gifts will be solicited.

The total project cost will be approximately $ 50 million. The proposed fee for this project is $90/quarter. The fee will fund most of the construction, expansion, maintenance of the facility, as well as the building operation costs. Once the cost of project is paid, and/or student enrollment increases beyond the annual average needed for funding, operating and maintaining the facility, students may choose to use surplus funds to reduce the Commons Fee, provide for additional expansion, and/or retire the debt for the facility. At the time of the final debt retirement, the fee will be adjusted appropriately. The $90/quarter fee will begin only after the first major phase of the proposed Commons is completed, Fall 2004.

Building Committee:

To ensure that student interests are served throughout the entire process of creating a new and expanded Commons, the role that students will have in the building committee process shall be as follows:

    • The building committee shall be composed of at least 50 percent students.
    • The final building design must be approved by a simple majority vote of those present at a special combined session with proportioned voting representation according to population on campus, of the ASUCR Senate and GSA Council before it is forwarded on to the UCR and UC Regent building approval process.


The proposed Commons shall be controlled by a student governing board that will be advisory to the Chancellor through the Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Enrollment. The Student Commons Facility Governing Board will consist of seven undergraduate students, two graduate students, one faculty member, one staff member, the Commons Director (ex-officio non-voting), and the Chancellor or his/her designate (ex-officio non voting). The student members shall be nominated by ASUCR and GSA and appointed by the Vice Chancellor of Student Services & Enrollment. The chairperson of the governing board shall be a student, and the board shall meet at least bi-monthly. The existing Commons Board of Governors shall be replaced by the Student Commons Facility Governing Board once the new facility is opened.

Upon completion of the facility, the Student Commons Facility Governing Board will be responsible for:

1. Developing all facility operations policies, approving all budgetary aspects (including annual budget, usage fees, etc.)
2. Developing Usage policies for the facilities.
3. Submitting through the chair, performance evaluations of facilities management personnel.
4. Approving an annual report developed by the Commons Facility detailing the fiscal and management operations of the facility to the Chancellor and students.

To assure that student priorities for the facility are maintained, all recommendations made by the Board can be reversed by a 2/3 vote of the ASUCR Senate and Graduate Student Council.

Referendum Passage: In compliance with UC and UCR policies, this referendum must meet these criteria during elections to be approved by the student body.

1. At least 20% of the student body must vote on the issue.
2. A majority of the votes cast must vote in favor of the issue.


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