UPDATED: Feb. 14, 2:54 p.m.
By Michael Peters
Students can quiz university administration on the potential implementation of a recreational sports fee at two forums next week.
Student Government Association will host the discussions at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Room 196 of Brooks City-Base Campus and 3 p.m. Thursday in Room 204/207 of Main Campus Building.
SGA president Andrés Holliday said many students have asked for a recreational center to allow more intramural sports and physical education opportunities.
Holliday urges students to take advantage of this “rare opportunity” to question administrators about issues such as funding.
“Make them sweat in their seats. Ask every single question you have because this is the only opportunity to do it,” Holliday said. “If you really want to know where your money is going, this is the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Holliday said some students do not feel there was adequate explanation of what the fee could do for them during the previous vote to implement the fee in 2012, when 51 percent of voters opposed the fee.
A majority of the student population must vote to implement the fee before it can be taken to the Texas A&M System Board of Regents for approval.
“That’s why we’re having the forums, so students will feel like they have a complete understanding of what they’re getting and what’s coming up next,” Holliday said.
Holliday will moderate the question and answer session’s questions addressing students’ concerns.
SGA will also distribute pens and index cards to students who wish to ask questions directly.
Holliday said some students oppose building a recreational center because they will have graduated by the time it is completed. One proposed solution would allow any student attending A&M-San Antonio during construction of the facility to use it for one to two years upon completion, he said.
The fee has not been determined but Holliday predicts between $30-$60 per student for sports programming and staffing, and between $10-$12 per credit hour for a recreational center.
“I can tell you student government is approaching this from a student’s perspective more than an administrative perspective because we want to make sure that if we’re really going to push for this that it’s something our students want and need,” Holliday said. “So far the information we’ve gathered is that they want this, and this forum is going to show how bad they need it.”
Jo Anna Benavides-Franke, associate vice president student engagement and success, said only Dr. Melissa Mahan, vice president for student affairs, could confirm members of the administration’s executive team who would take students’ questions. Attempts to contact Mahan before deadline were unsuccessful.
Although student-led clubs existed in the past, none remain active, Student Activities board president Hoyt Garner confirmed.
Any potential club sports would be dependent on implementation of the recreational sports fee, Garner said.
For more information about the forums, call SGA at 210-784-1329.