By Jeremy Burnett
There is a big elephant in the room between Texas A&M University-Texarkana and the students that attend here, and that is the athletic fee being implemented on campus. Or will it ever be? The purpose of the athletic fee is to fund the Intramural Sports League, coaches, travel, and other expenses. In spring 2012, 55% percent of the student body voted in favor of activating an athletic fee for A&M University- Texarkana. After the students passed this, some people were “up-in-arms” about the decisions, but there is more to this story than people know. After the student body passed the fee the, Student Government Association went into negotiations with the school to have the fee added slowly in increments.
According to the proposed athletic fee, “FAQ”, students will pay $10.00 per credit hour in 2013-2014 with a maximum $120 per semester; 2014-2015 students will pay $12.50 per credit hour with a maximum of $150 semester; and in 2015-2016 they will pay $15.00 per credit hour with a maximum of $180 semester. But a question comes to mind: if the student body voted yes to this decision why are we not being charged for the athletic fee in this school fiscal year?
Dr. Sonia Sandford, Director of Recreation & Wellness, and Board Member of Athletics at A&M University-Texarkana, said, “ that the athletic fee has not been put in effect just yet.” There are some steps that we still need to take before the athletic fee can even be put into effect.
The Athletic Fee proposal will still have to go to legislature of the state of Texas, be voted on, and will have to be signed by the governor of Texas, Rick Perry. After that is done, it will have to go to the Board of Trustees at Texas A&M Systems to be approved by them as well, before we can even implement it here at A&M University-Texarkana. So, some of the students can take a breath of relief that the athletic fee will not affect us now, but it will affect future A&M University-Texarkana students.