Mar 182007
 
Authors: Vimal Patel

A stronger athletics program makes all of CSU better, said athletics director Paul Kowalczyk. And that, he added, can’t happen without more cash.

The freshman CSU athletics chief is expected to expand on that argument today to a student board that makes funding recommendations to the board of governors.

Kowalczyk is requesting an increase of 22 percent in funding from student fees. Students paid $137 to fund athletics this year. The department wants $167 per student next year.

“It’s hard to see the benefit right now, but there has to be some trust and faith that we’re doing the right thing,” Kowalczyk told the Collegian earlier this month.

“If you look at all the top public research institutions in the country, they not only have outstanding academic reputations but they have nationally recognized athletics programs.”

The request is part of a larger boost that could increase the total amount students pay in fees by 14 percent to $1,085 per year, up from $950 this year.

Several campus departments have either made their pitches to the board or are set to soon. The largest chunk of student fees goes toward Hartshorn Health Services, which requested a 13 percent increase to $247 per student per year.

Student-fee funding for Lory Student Center operations would increase by 21 percent to $177 under the proposal. Student Media, which encompasses the Collegian, is requesting a 90 cents increase per year per student. Students currently pay $18 in fees for Student Media.

The Student Fee Review Board meeting is set for 3 p.m. today in Room 205 of the Lory Student Center and is open to the public.

Mark Settle, a member of the SFRB, encouraged students concerned about the costs of higher education to attend.

“This is one of the very few areas where students have the opportunity to have their voices directly heard and where it affects their pocket book,” the senior economics and political science double major said.

“We know we can’t speak for every student, so we need more voices here.”

The SFRB is set to mull over and debate the funding requests, and is expected to make final recommendations during April. The recommendations will be sent to the CSU board of governors, which will approve the final amount in June.

The SFRB is an advisory board with no authority. But it represents the official voice of the student body. And at least to the knowledge of the chair of the SFRB, Sadie Conrad, the CSU board of governors has always honored the recommendation of the student board.

If all the proposed increases are approved, the 14 percent boost would be the largest fixed-fee increase in at least the last 10 years.

Managing Editor Vimal Patel can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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The Student Fee Review Board meeting is set for 3 p.m. today in Room 205 of the Lory Student Center and is open to the public.

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