A new athletic fee bill being proposed by student government is still in an infantile stage, but student government presidents from all campuses are still ironing out the issues surrounding the bill.
Senate Bill 31, otherwise known as the athletic fee bill, was initially proposed three weeks ago at the USG Senate meeting on the Tempe campus. Since the initial proposal, many questions have arisen about where the money will go and how students will benefit from the fee.
USG Downtown President Frank Smith III said he wants more student input and wants to inform students exactly what the fee will fund.
“We’re still looking at everything, and we will be talking to students to get input in the coming days,” he said.
A portion of tuition money is used to fund athletics, but if the proposed fee passes, this money will be reallocated to other ares like student services.
The tuition money saved by the implementation of SB31 is estimated to be between $8 million and $10 million.
The money made from the fee will go to the athletics department to offset any costs.
“The money from tuition will stay in academics,” Smith said. “Teacher’s assistant raises, weekend shuttles for students to attend games, extended service hours for tutoring, free graduate placement testing and childcare services are all the different options we are looking at for allocating the money brought back into academics.”
SB31 will also allow students to receive tickets to football games and men’s basketball games through a lottery system. Students now have to pay for tickets at a discounted price.
“The lottery system is so everyone can receive tickets,” Smith said. “Our goal is to have 30 percent of the student population attend these games.”
The response to SB31 at the West campus has been positive overall, said USG West President Howard Waldie IV.
“A general senate poll is in favor of the bill right now,” he said. “When the bill was first proposed, students in the audience were positive, even though going to sporting events isn’t part of their college experience, but they are in favor of the reinvestment of tuition money.”
Policymakers at each campus are still seeking student input and are working together to get the bill passed through each campus government. No decisions have been made if certain campuses pass the bill and others do not.
Tempe USG President Jordan Davis said he wants to hear more input from students and said there will be continued meetings between the campus presidents as well as a town hall at each campus on Oct. 21.
“We’re starting to discuss the issues and are keeping in constant contact with presidents at other campuses,” he said.
The town hall will be an open forum for students to learn more about the bill from the USG Senate and presidents and for them to receive input from the student body before the bill moves forward.
“The main thing right now is making sure we’re informing students,” Waldie said. “We want them to know what this proposal is and we’re encouraging senate members to get out and talk to students about the issue.”
If passed, SB31 will have to be approved by the ASU administration and the Arizona Board of Regents before it is implemented.
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