ASUCD President Ivan Carrillo recently raised the topic that UC Davis and U.S. Bank are in negotiations for a branch on campus. This U.S. Bank would be located in the East Conference Room on the first floor of the Memorial Union. U.S. Bank would enter in to a 10-year lease, paying $140,000 per year and a $3,000 signing bonus according to Carrillo’s information.
Although Associate Vice Chancellor Janet Gong would not discuss any specifics of the U.S. Bank proposal, she did confirm that she has met with past ASUCD presidents and has a meeting scheduled with Carrillo.
A cold, corporate bank is the last thing that the space-starved MU needs. The first floor of the MU is already crowded with vendors, and any remaining space should be left open for further ASUCD ventures that would be geared toward benefiting students, and not a corporation’s bottom line.
There are already five ATMs outside the MU, representing four different banks, and another fifth bank’s ATM is located in the MU Games Area. There is no compelling need for a sixth bank to have a presence on campus – especially when the bank in question already has a branch at 304 F St., a third of a mile from campus.
Even if U.S. Bank wanted a presence on campus, why not lease another ATM space? Most banking transactions – withdrawing cash, transferring funds and depositing checks and cash – are possible at an ATM. A U.S. Bank branch would not likely see many customers that could not be served adequately by an ATM.
Not to suggest that all banks are out to prey on students, but many students do end up deep in debt as a result of bank lending, whether it is through loans or credit cards. It would be irresponsible if UC Davis were to allow a bank to open a branch on campus – getting a loan on credit card should be a well thought out process, not something done between classes with a Coho sandwich in hand.
Although U.S. Bank may just want to open up a branch to make it easier for its customers, there is no need for a full-service bank on campus. Receiving $140,000 per year would be valuable for UC Davis, but it should not come at the cost of student space in the MU. Students and faculty can simply use ATMs, or go downtown for their full-service banking needs, allowing the MU to be used more appropriately.