Campus, CSU, News

Student Center fees set to increase by $255 per semester next academic year

By: Mark Siquig, Carlos Yakimowich and Anthony Orrico

The mandatory Student Center fees are set to increase at the start of the 2025 academic year as a way of funding the renovation to the Student Union facilities.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, Long Beach State’s Student Center fees stand at $220 per semester, totaling $440 annually. Among all the CSU campuses, Long Beach State ranks 15, as reported by the CSU website.

The fees will go up $255 per semester starting in 2025, totaling $950 annually. The increase comes in the same year that tuition is set to rise by 6% every year by the next five years. This would represent a 39% increase since the 2017-18 academic year, when the fees were $183 per semester, and $366 per year, according to Associated Students Inc.

Student Union facilities are funded almost exclusively through this fee and help pay for student staff wages, maintenance, upkeep and services according to ASI.

The University Student Union currently employs an average of 350 student workers per semester according to ASI. Shannon Couey, communications coordinator for ASI said with expanded facilities, they can hire more student employees.

“Our goal is to always keep students first,” Couey said. “That was a really big priority for us in updating and kind of bringing that facility into the 21st century. And so that includes there will be more work opportunities.”

An increase like this would normally go through a student referendum and according to Couey, ASI attempted a referendum in 2014, but it failed, which moved them to try an alternative consultation.

“We really wanted to get a better sense of what the campus climate is on this facility,” Couey said. “An alternative consultation demands that we speak with X number of students based on the campus population and conduct surveys and do stakeholder meetings.”

According to ASI, the new fee will help pay for planned renovations to the Student Union buildings and will include but is not limited to expanded food service, seating and increased informal student lounge space. Additional study space with group study rooms, an expanded Beach Pantry and Basic Needs wing are also in the renovation plans.

The relocation of The Nugget and the deconstruction of the University Dining Hall will also be a part of the expansions. The final location of the Nugget is yet to be determined but it will be relocated.

“The Nugget is our priority and it is a priority to be a part of the renovated and expanded USU,” Mitali Jain, ASI president, said.

The escalator leading to the upper campus has heavy foot traffic, and it is the same area where the Nugget and University Dining Hall are currently located. They will not close the area down but the construction will affect the foot traffic.

“The renovations would be two parts, like one is constructing and then there are parts that are available,” Jain said.

The Future USU project will cost around $302.6 million, Jain said. The cost is high due to inflation and wages.

“We understand financial burdens on students and we’re very conscious of that,” Couey said. “This fee increase, we’re really offering students more for what they’re paying for.”

According to ASI, the construction, if approved, would start at the earliest in the summer of 2026. The University Student Union was last renovated in 1998 and according to ASI, the building is in dire need of upgrades and repairs.

Like most fees at CSU, any financial aid a student receives can be used to cover this fee. Students can visit the Future U website for more information about the increased fees.

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