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UW-Milwaukee forces student vote on potential fee increase

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found an interesting solution to a lack of student participation on political issues, they will force students to vote "yes," "no," or "abstain" on a referendum to increase student fees to renovate an aging student center. 

Students we talked to were split on the issue.

"Personally, I think the building is fine," student Neziah Bowers said.

"I do think there are some improvements that need to be made, especially in some older sections," Laura Turzenski said.

Student Union Director Rick Thomas wants to increase student fees from $75 to nearly $200 a year for student center upkeep. They've spent nearly $10 million dollars this decade on repairs, but they need student opinion to convince the u-w board to increase fees.

"If they're going to consider the voice of the students they want a loud voice of the students," Thomas said.

Thomas says it's an interesting approach, and even he isn't sure how it will work.

"Ask me in another month, when the referendum closes," Thomas said. "At this point, this is a grand experiment."

Even if the students pass the referendum, the board of regents would need to sign off on it, and it would ultimately have to pass the state legislature to become part of the budget for the school.

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