By Michael Peters
The Texas A&M System Board of Regents will consider approval of the recreational sports fee as the last step before intramural sports programming can begin this fall. The Board meets May 1 in College Station.
Melissa Mahan, vice president for student affairs, expects approval of the fee.
A total of 251 votes were cast, about six percent of the 4,329 student population, with 140 students voting in favor of the fee. The 2012 vote collected 266 valid votes, with 137 students opposing the fee.
Students approved a $100 flat-rate fee for the fall and spring semesters and a $50 fee for each summer session during a three-day online voting period March 4-6. The $100 fee was determined by multiplying $10 by 10 credit hours, the average number of credit hours for students.
Mahan and Andres Holliday, Student Government Association president, expect to have intramural sports programming in place for the fall semester.
“If you’re a student here in the fall, you will see intramural sports as something you would be involved in,” Holliday said.
If the Board approves the fee in May, student forums will collect student feedback on which sports to offer. Holliday expects football, baseball and basketball to be popular among students.
“Definitely outdoor sports right away,” Holliday said.
Holliday is pushing for a two-mile walking path, similar to the Northeast Lakeview College walking path. Mahan said the recommendation can be explored.
“Next year is probably going to be the most active year,” Holliday said. “Especially with intramural sports growing and having our first 5K.”
Holliday said Mahan and President Maria Hernandez Ferrier love the idea of a Jaguar 5K. SGA spoke to Marilu Reyna, associate vice president for institutional advancement, about finalizing a date for the 5K this fall.
Mahan said the administration plans to hire a programming director to oversee intramural sports and equipment. She will not approve and post the position until the fee is approved.
Administrators met with students Feb. 18 and 20 at open forums to determine interest in the fee before moving forward with a vote.
Students interviewed during today’s career fair, none of whom voted, voiced a favorable response to the fee approval.
Marketing senior Anna Pham said she was glad to hear that intramural sports would begin in the fall. Although she did not participate in the voting process, she looks forward to potential extracurricular activities.
“It’s a good opportunity to meet classmates,” Pham said.
Psychology junior Armando Hernandez said he will take advantage of intramural sports. “Since it did pass, why not take advantage of it?” Hernandez said.
Not every student was in favor of funding sports programs, including Guadalupe Sanchez, information insurance graduate student.
“We could’ve used those funds for something better. We could have gotten another building,” he said.
Buildings are typically funded through tuition revenue bonds, whereas student fees will support the growth of a sports program.
Andrew Kirkpatrick contributed to this report.