Debate continues nearly 2 years after groundbreaking
The plaque commemorating the funding of the Wolf Law building continues to brew controversy years after its initial groundbreaking in 2004.
The disagreement involves the wording of the plaque, which recognizes CU students for stepping in and paying for the construction when the state did not. The $46.4 million law building was funded almost entirely by the University of Colorado Student Union and CU students.
UCSU supported a bill to launch a “capital construction fee” which increased tuition bills to pay for four campus capital projects, including the Law School, Business School, ATLAS building, and the IT Infrastructure.
These were previously planned to receive state funding, but eventually were left out of the state’s higher education construction budget. As a result, the plaque was designed to pay tribute to the students and some think it is at the expense of the state.
“There needs to be less blame of the state and more celebration of the students,” said UCSU tri-executive Charles Johnson.
The USCU capital construction bill stipulates that the each of the plaques placed on the new buildings should read that UCSU constructed the buildings by supporting the fee “when the State of Colorado would not fund capital projects in higher education.”
UCSU Journalism Senator Jessica Bralish said that business administrative senators do not want students to read the plaque and feel animosity toward the state of Colorado for not following through with their financial obligations.
While some fear the plaque may bruise relations between the state and CU, others believe the preservation of the plaque’s phrase in the 2004 bill to be the essential goal.
“We shouldn’t rewrite history,” Bralish said. “I’ll do everything in my power to preserve this history.”
Though controversy of opinions exist within UCSU, the possibility of middle ground can be met by the addition of a sentence or two after the original 2004 phrase that would serve as an explanation, said UCSU tri-executive Ashley Nakagawa.
Since the grand opening of the Wolf Law Building, UCSU said a $50 “capital construction fee” will be tacked onto tuition bills each semester and will increase in increments of $50 until it reaches $400. Bonds should be paid off in about 20 years, Bralish said.
The UCSU staff is still in debate over the plaque, yet Johnson said many realize that CU students went above and beyond what they needed to do.