UMC draws attention to far-reaching ramifications of the bill; asks to be left out of the conflict
The UMC is determined to not shut down.
UMC Director Carlos Garcia and UMC Board Chair Lauren Dunning released a letter this afternoon offering feedback to the Legislative Council and authors of the Fair and Equal Access Bill. The bill, developed by Inter-fraternity Council President and UCSU Legislative Council Vice President Chris Kline, states that funding to the major cost centers on campus, including the Recreation Center, Wardenberg Health Center and the UMC, should be terminated in an effort to give fraternities the same privileges as other official student groups.
Garcia and Dunning expressed concern that passing the bill will affect the entire CU campus negatively.
“The UMC and all of its users would be penalized for something they had nothing to do with,” Garcia and Dunning wrote.
If passed, the UMC and other cost centers on campus will be shunned from UCSU’s $30 million dollar budget. The UMC depends heavily on the monetary assistance of UCSU, and if they no longer receive aid from the Legislative Council, Garcia and Dunning wrote they will be forced to shut down as of June 30, 2007.
The closing would cause a lay-off of all UMC employees, which include approximately 125 classified staff and about 325 students.
Garcia and Dunning said in their letter that the UMC staff has no formal position on the conflict between the IFC and the university.
“Please do not put the UMC in the middle of this conflict, and please do not punish the UMC and the entire campus community for something it has no control over,” Garcia and Dunning wrote.
Legislative Council will vote on the bill tonight at 7 p.m. in the UMC.
Kline did not return phone calls for comment.
Full Text of UMC’s Response
Feedback from UMC Board on 66LCB#7
Fair and Equal Access Bill
The UMC Board reviewed the Fair and Equal Access bill 66LCB#7 and has the following feedback to its authors and Legislative Council members in general:
This bill, if passed would have serious implications to the UMC, the cost centers that reside in the UMC, the CU student body, and the entire university community. This bill states that if the UMC does not follow current campus policy, which it must, that in essence, the UMC would not receive funding from UCSU beyond June 30, 2007. Given that approximately 45% of the UMC operating budget is student fee driven, the UMC would not be able to operate beyond June 30, 2007. The student fee pays for the bulk of the UMC’s utilities, the up keep and operation of the building as well as most of its administrative functions and programs. It also pays for the bond indebtedness of the building that is legally tied to the bondholders. This obviously carries with it serious negative consequences. The UMC would have to shut down. There would be no funds to pay employees to open, and operate neither the facility nor any of the programs within it. Also given that the UMC houses all but two UCSU cost centers, they too would have to shut down their operations (WRC, OCSS, Legal Student Services, SORCE, VHC, KVCU, CEB, DSB, the E-Center, and SOFO). UCSU proper would also have no space to operate out of.
The UMC and the other cost centers would have to lay-off all of its employees (approximately 125 classified staff and approximately 325 student employees). State law requires that a 60-day notice be given to any classified employees that are being laid off for reasons of exigency, and CU requires that advance notice of the impending lay-offs be given to employees prior to the 60 days. Thus we would need to begin informing employees of the lay-off by around mid-April, a mere 6 weeks from now. Many employees, some who have worked here for over 20 to 25 years, would begin to look for other jobs and leave prior to June 30th, making it difficult to operate through the end of the fiscal year. And with Food Service and the Connection also shut down, the UMC would have no ability to generate revenues to sustain the remaining 55% of its budget.
The UMC has several contracts with private vendors, like the Elevations Credit Union, US Bank, Colorado Daily, STA Travel, Celestial Seasonings, Dominos, Subway, Wok n’ Roll, etc. If the UMC were to shut down, these vendors would consider us to be in breech of contract, and would likely initiate legal action against us. And since we are an auxiliary, we would have to pay the legal damages from UCSU funds. There are also other non-UCSU university operations housed within the UMC. The most prominent one being the CU Book Store. The Book Store would need plenty of advance notice if they were required to leave the building so that they could continue to operate and serve the campus community. The Book Store occupies approximately 34,000 square feet of space in the UMC. It is highly unlikely that the Book Store would be able to find adequate prime retail space of this size anywhere else on campus. Student’s ability to acquire academic books and materials would be seriously jeopardized. Other non-UCSU operations like the Office of Greek Affairs, the Peace Corps, Student Employment Office, Staff Council, the Honor Code, and the Ink Spot Copy Center would be affected by this and be forced to find space elsewhere on campus. The UMC also has agreements with non-campus users who rent the facility. We would also have to break those agreements leaving us vulnerable to litigation.
In essence, many would pay the price if this bill were to be approved and enacted upon. The UMC and all of its users would be penalized for something they had nothing to do with. The UMC itself has no formal position on the merits of the conflict between IFC and the University administration. Please do not put the UMC in the middle of this conflict, and please do not punish the UMC and the entire campus community for something it has no control over. Your consideration of this feedback is very much appreciated.
Lauren Dunning, Carlos Garcia
UMC Board Chair UMC Director