Mar 192007
Authors: Emily Polak

The athletic department proposed a fee increase to the Student Fee Review Board on Monday, requesting an additional $15 per semester – or $30 per year – per student.

“We aren’t settling for average anymore,” said Paul Kowalczyk, athletic director. “We need to invest in our program.”

Kowalczyk said that CSU is under funded compared to that of other universities in the Mountain West Conference and that his request of $15 per student is minimal.

The Career Center, Student Leadership and Civic Engagement and the School of the Arts Advisory Council also presented to the SFRB as part of the process that could increase student fees by 14 percent, raising them to $1,085 for the 2007-2008 school year.

Students currently pay $950 in student fees per year.

Kowalczyk said there are benefits to a strong athletic department including increased enrollment, alumni connections and media coverage. He said that by having a strong and successful athletics department every student’s degree will be worth more.

“It’s an investment in the future,” Kowalczyk said. “Having success makes a huge difference.”

Members of the SFRB, including ASCSU vice president Sadie Conrad expressed concerns over where the additional fees would go and how the increase would directly affect students.

“I want to see specifics,” Conrad said. “Students don’t see the importance.”

Kowalczyk said fees would go toward hiring a new basketball coach, which could cost up to $400,000, as well as other new positions, travel and an additional home football game.

Mark Settle, a member of the SFRB saw the benefits of a strong athletic department but questioned the large fee increase.

“I think having a successful athletic department is important to the university, but so is having an affordable education,” Settle said.

The athletics department was granted a $15 increase last year after CSU President Larry Penley said such an increase was necessary in order to maintain the department. The agreement was made on conditions that after two years the department would be evaluated to see whether the increase was beneficial.

“I think it is important to invest in athletics because the university’s image in many ways is tied to athletic success,” Settle said, “but I feel like $15 for a second year in a row is too much.”

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