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Thursday, October 06, 2022

There's a third party campaigning in this spring's Student Government election: the Renew Your Reitz campaign.

Renew Your Reitz, a student-run campaign, was launched last week and has since recruited an estimated 200 volunteers to encourage students to vote to approve the expansion and renovation of the Reitz Union.

Alex Cornillie, the official spokesman for the campaign, said the campaign is designed to educate students and also to explore alternative sources of funding for the renovation, such as donations from alumni.

"The Renew Your Reitz campaign is the collective effort of the Reitz Union and concerned students here at the university to educate the rest of the Student Body on the deficiencies that exist right now in the student union and the benefits that could exist in the union of tomorrow with the support of the students," Cornillie said.

He said representatives of the campaign, who have been handing out fliers inside and outside of the Reitz Union for about a week, are speaking with students about repairs and renovations that will need to be made within the next 14 years.

Student Body President Jordan Johnson said a renovated and expanded Reitz Union would have new meeting rooms, more office space, a bigger printing lab, a bigger parking garage and a 24-hour study center.

Johnson said the expansion would cost between $80 million and $90 million, but it has not yet been determined how much of that will be covered in donations from alumni, contributions from the administration and other sources of funding from the university.

Still, Johnson said the union is being renovated and expanded for students, so they should help cover the cost.

"We understand that we need a student fee that's going to cover roughly a little more than half that," Johnson said.

Cornillie said many students have had questions about the "state of the Union" and why the repairs and the fee are such big issues right now.

Cornillie said a goal of this effort is to leave a legacy in the form of a new and improved student union, just as the students from about 40 years ago did for the students of today.

"It's now our time to leave that legacy for the students who will come after us," Cornillie said.

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