There has been a lot of controversy surrounding student fees at Southern Utah University with the upcoming plan to raise money for athletics. SUU plans to give more funding to its already thriving athletics program, but it cannot afford to expand the campus to better accommodate its student body?
SUU may be a small school but the level of growth that it has been experiencing in the past decade is more than applied for an expansion to better fit the population. With the new business building and the large housing project taking a valuable piece of parking real estate, I find myself nervous about the future of SUU.
At one of the Michael O. Levitt Center for Politics & Public Service’s “Pizza and Politics” events a few weeks ago there was an overwhelming feeling of oppression by the sheer force and opinion of the athletics department versus the rest of the student body.
After talking to some students who were shot down by student players and coaches alike, they admit to feeling nervous and ganged up on by the department who rarely shares their voice during the weekly meetings.
The consensus was that the athletic department had every right to be there, but they should’ve been willing to listen to the arguments posed by others. By not being able to share level-headed opinions the students and faculty may have created a larger population vote to stop the rising student fees.
The athletics department may need funding to continue their success, but could the school not use some of the money they plan to collect from student fees to further the academic success of the university? I support the athletics program very heavily, but they should not be the only department reaping the reward from what would be such a large pool of money. There are many ways that the school could raise student fees that would have a positive benefit in every department as we head towards the future.
I say raise your fees, you have every right to do so, but do not expect those of us who are not part of an athletic team to die down quietly.
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(Photo was taken during the Student Fees Review Board meeting)