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“It Starts With You” Campaign Launches

Long Beach, Calif. - October 2, 2014 - CSULB students have a rich history of identifying, anticipating and advocating for the needs of current and future students, which have led to enhancing the campus community as demonstrated by the creation of the University Student Union (1972) and the Student Recreation & Wellness Center (2010) and now that time has come again. On Monday, Oct. 6, the University Student Union (USU) will launch the "It Starts With You" educational campaign for the USU Renovation and Expansion Referendum.

The purpose of the campaign is to inform students on what the proposed renovation and expansion would entail, including student resource center(s), more lounge seating, study areas, student organization space and a sustainability resource center.

Since 2011, the University Student Union Board of Trustees (USUBOT) has conducted two formal assessments of CSULB students' needs and interest in renovating and expanding the USU. The 2011 survey resulted in over 12,000 responses (37% of enrollment) and the 2014 survey received more than 8,000 responses (24% of enrollment), with 59% of students reporting that they were likely or somewhat likely to support a renovation and expansion. Focus groups and intercept interviews were also conducted.

After careful consideration of the data, the USUBOT in consultation with the Student Fee Advisory Committee have decided to recommend that the student body have an opportunity to decide how the USU should proceed by having a student referendum in February 2015.

The official launch of the campaign will begin with a kick-off event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southwest Terrace in the University Student Union. USUBOT Chair Vanessa Mendoza encourages students to attend the "It Starts With You" campaign launch because students have a right to know what their student fees cover and should be fully informed on all aspects of the referendum. "The student union is their building, so we want to inform students on the need to renovate and expand in order to accommodate their growing needs," she said. "As the USUBOT Chair, I walk around the student union and see people eating on the floor, sleeping on the stairs due to lack of seating as well as organizations struggling to find a place to meet because of limited space. When I see things like this than I know something needs to be done."

Anna Pavlova, USUBOT Campus Relations Committee Chair states that students are stakeholders of the USU and will decide the future of the facility. "Since the USU is the focal point of the campus, it is important to make sure it upholds the needs of the students," she said. "With the campaign launch our website dedicated to the referendum will also go live. The website is packed with great information and resources. Students will be able to stay informed and up-to-date with the campaign and voter information."

The event will also include live music, photo booth, food and many more activities.