Saving varsity sports with segregated fees may open a can of worms
April 30, 2015
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300 million UW System budget cuts are having a significantly negative impact on the campus at UW-River Falls, and now two women’s varsity sports are in jeopardy of being ousted.
Student Senate has attempted to rescue the women’s golf and tennis team after nearly voting on a $3 segregated fee to save the two sports on Tuesday evening. The $3 fee wouldn’t cover the entire costs of the golf and tennis team, but it would certainly make the decision to cut the two programs, or just one, a lot harder.
The university is in a financial crisis and the athletics department is no exception, making it nearly impossible to keep the golf and tennis teams as is. The Student Voice doesn’t want to see the university lose two more women’s varsity sports simply because of the impending budget cuts. If the programs are cut then the university could see a potential 13 or so student-athletes transfer to other schools. The Voice doesn’t want to lose current or prospective students because of the loss of a varsity sport. The university is already teetering the Title IX line and with the Falcon Center only a few years away the athletics department should be adding sports not cutting.
However, a $3 segregated fee, which each UWRF student would pay every semester to help keep the two sports alive, is not a good idea. Forcing students to pay a fee for a service they do not receive is problematic. We have no problem paying a fee for recreation and sports facilities because any student can join in on the fun, but these two sports do not generate money via ticket sales.
The Voice is in favor of keeping the two women’s sports, but we are not in favor of the students at UWRF paying a segregated fee unless a vote is passed by the student body. We are pleased that (if passed) the $3 segregated fee doesn’t necessarily have to go towards the women’s tennis and golf teams.
Cuts are bound to happen from time to time, and although we don’t like seeing varsity sports get cut it may be unavoidable at this point. Having students pay a $3 segregated fee for a service we don’t receive will only open a can of worms. If this passes, anytime Senate wants to keep a program they can simply create a segregated fee for students to unwillingly pay.
If this is what the student body wants, then we will gladly pay $3 to keep the two sports, but we feel that the money, which isn’t a significant amount of money in comparison to the possible $4.9 million university-wide cuts, should be found somewhere else.