Students deny athletics on fee vote

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Students deny athletics on fee vote

Tyler Johnson, [email protected]

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ULM received backlash from a proposed student enhancement fee this fall that didn’t go through.

The fee was $10 per credit hour for future semesters for students taking one or more credit hours. The fee was supposed to support athletics and other groups on campus. It could have helped athletics out a lot.

For the past few years, ULM athletics has had budget problems. Football has been the work horse for producing most of the money.

This year the football team traveled to Texas A&M for 1.4 million dollars to play the Aggies. Attendance is a continuing topic to be brought up when in talks about the football program. When students first heard about that the enhancement fee, there was an uproar. Students were furious about having to pay $10 per credit hour for a spirit and athletics enhancement fee.

Aside of paying tuition, universities add on plenty of other school fees that students have no idea about. Being that there was never a meeting explaining to students exactly where the money was going can explain why it didn’t get passed.

Some students expressed they already don’t like athletes because they feel that athletics get everything handed to them online. So, when they found out that the fee was to go towards helping athletics, they didn’t want to contribute.

When the school first proposed the fee, it would have helped having the vote at the beginning of the year so that students had time to think about it and get more information on it before voting. Unfortunately, due to certain conditions the vote was rushed out.

Most students found out about the fee over social media. The university could have done a better job explaining it.

“I voted no on the extra fee because as a student I didn’t need any more fees added to my tuition. I felt as though it was not benefiting me. They did not give us a breakdown on what it was going to be used for. They just told us it was going towards athletics and RSOs,” said Kylie’e Jacquet, a ULM student.

Some alumni football players thought that the fee could be good for the future of not just the football program, but athletics in general.

Roland Jenkins, former free safety for ULM, said, “When I was a player, I would have loved for a proposal like this to have been passed. This could have helped boosted the entire athletic department and in turn the whole school as well. With a small budget like our ULM athletics have, this would have allowed us to get some of the better things, get those better recruits onto campus and ultimately bring more wins.”

Jenkins said bringing in more wins is ultimately the goal and would bring in more of the community to the games. A winning culture could possibly lead to enhanced pride in the school from the community according to Jenkins.

Devin Jackson Jr., starting right guard, spoke strongly on the issue. “ULM have been having inconsistent attendance for years due to the inconsistency of the football team. It’s on us to put a viewable and enjoyable product on the field and in the past we failed in that regard, but recently, we have been turning that around and becoming more consistent, and we hope with the momentum the football team continue to add we hope we can also add more fans and create a culture worth watching and wanting to be a part of.”

A new better presented fee, may have a better shot at being accepted by the majority of students