Differences of opinion | Admin, SA see potential stadium fee increase differently

Students’ Association has passed Resolution 13-08-R, a document that shows they will consider a $1 general activity fee increase to cover the operational costs of the new stadium if it is needed. The resolution passed 18-6 at their Nov. 25 meeting.

“The most important thing to portray is we haven’t agreed to support a fee increase of any amount at this time,” Students’ Association President Ben Stout said.

The $1 amount was created as a starting point where SA and legislators can talk about if it will be needed. However, university administration has proposed a $1.75 increase to the Board of Regents along with the rest of the new stadium planning and funding. 

“Some models [from the administration] have a student fee in them, and some don’t. The one that got submitted to the board has an example of $1.75 in it,” Stout said.

If there were to be a fee increase, it would start in the fiscal year of 2017. Currently, Athletics receives $10.13 per credit hour to help keep up facilities and so Title XI can be intact. 

“Programs can’t run without funding, and the funding will not be decided upon until March,” said State and Local Chair Caleb Finck at the Nov. 25 meeting. “Because we aren’t saying yes or no, it is considered an arbitrary amount … it could be less it could be more.”

When creating Resolution 13-08-R, SA went into executive session to talk about the potential resolution.

“We wanted to that because … when you start a negotiation process, it’s important to have everyone on the same page … so the purpose was to get everyone on the same page before,” Stout said.

The SA executive board had the opportunity to see the resolution before it was completed. 

“Eventually we are going to have to make a decision,” said Agricultural and Biological Sciences Senator Matt Dahle at the Nov. 25 meeting.

In order to allocate the increase for the GAF, it has to take three steps. First, there will need to be a formal request from the University Activity Fee Budgeting Committee. From there it will go onto President David Chicoine to be approved and will then move onto the BOR to be approved. The last GAF increase was this year, where $1 per credit hour was allocated for The Union expansion.

Resolution 13-05-R, which expresses SA’s support for the new stadium project, has been submitted with the other documents to the BOR.

“I think it’s good to have support from all different areas of campus,” Stout said on the effectiveness of 13-05-R.

Discussions about the stadium project will be going on from this point forward.

“We probably have been meeting once a week if not every other week and I expect that to continue,” Stout said.

If the project is passed Director of Athletics Justin Sell will create a task force committee that will consist of students along with SA members that will be involved in the process of the new stadium project.