The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Editorial: Student recreational program needs clarity

Students were encouraged to voice their opinion concerning the $7-$10 recreational sports fee students would be charged if they vote in favor. The panelists for the recreational sports fee forum, Feb. 20 at Texas A&M University Main Campus included Provost Brent Snow; Melessa Mahan, vice president for student afairs; Charles Rodriguez, vice president of strategic initiatives and military affairs; Kenneth Mitts, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer; and Marilu Reyna, associate vice president for institutional advancement and university communications. Photo by Nayeli M. Gomez

By Mesquite Editorial Board

A student referendum Tuesday through Thursday, March 4–6, will decide the immediate future of intramural sports for Texas A&M-San Antonio.

Should students vote to establish this fee?

Clearly they hold different positions on the issue. Some believe we should invest in the future of the university. Others question why they should pay into a fee that will not benefit them, because they will move after graduating, or because they lack time to play sports.

Granted the last opinion is a good point, students already fork out money for several fees. With the recreational fee, students can actively participate in something they’ve been requesting for years.

The Mesquite Editorial Board recommends students vote for the fee. Our endorsement comes after hearing the reasons so many A&M-San Antonio students support the cost during two Student Government Association forums last week.

While we support the fee, we urge university administrators to provide details for how they will implement and conduct the program during the first three years.

Kudos to university leadership for listening to students, but that only goes so far. University administration should have established what sports programs it plans to include before taking the fee to students for a vote.

Essentially, it’s like buying a mystery bag. We just do not know what this fee buys us.

An unestablished sports offering requires a lot of faith that administration will follow through with providing intramural sports programming.

SGA President Andres Holliday said he plans to follow a passing vote with more focus groups. Conducting those groups before the vote would help inform students on what their money buys.

While the editorial board supports the need for intramural and recreational sports for A&M-San Antonio, students must know how it will be implemented.

What students do know is the expected fee will cost $7 or $10 per credit hour with a maximum of 15 credit hours, amounting to an extra $105 to $150 tuition.

The university needs tiered growth. Our recommendation is to start small, with a $7 per credit hour fee that supports one or two popular sports programs. Then, as these succeed, add more sports.

The Mesquite supports the fee, as long as the administration makes the options clear.


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