SFA students vote on athletic fee referendum

Local News
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An athletic tuition fee referendum was brought up at Stephen F. Austin State University today.
 
Students voted on whether or not to increase tuition to pay for upgraded athletic facilities and equipment.
 
For the second time SFA has turned to students to approve a referendum for an athletics fee.
 
Proponents say the fee will improve athletic facilities as well as equipment.
 
“It’s kind of a big deal on campus right now, a lot of people are for it and we’ve got some people against it,” said Morgan Pulliam, Chair of the Athletic Fee Committee.
 
State lawmakers approved an athletic fee pending a student vote.
 
On Tuesday students were out campaigning for and against this referendum.
 
“I’m against the athletic referendum because I feel like not everyone will benefit from it,” said Mickey May, student campaigning against the referendum. “While we love the athletic students and we support our SFA Athletics, we also support our forestry majors, English majors, theater majors and everyone else who won’t be benefiting equally from this fee.”
 
Under the proposed fee students pay an extra $10 per semester credit hour, up to 15 hours meaning a possible $150 tuition increase.
 
SFA is among the few campuses in the state that does not have this fee and many want to see improvement in the facilities.
 
“I’m for it because I’m thinking more of an alumni standpoint,” said Pulliam. “This is my senior year here and whenever I come back to visit SFA or whenever I help recruit for SFA I want something to come back to and I want to leave a legacy. And increasing the facility for athletes can help us gain more athletes and it will help us improve our games.”
 
The voting ceased at 4:00 p.m. and the referendum did not pass. But even though it didn’t pass, students did learn a great deal about voting this political season. 
 
“As a student affairs professional we are encouraging our students to participate in this voting procedure,” said Dr. Holly Smith, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
 
“No matter what voting is important no matter what your say is,” said May. “I just want to encourage everybody to have a voice and vote in what they believe in no matter what.”
 
A total of 5,094 students voted for the referendum, 3,144 voted against and 1,950 voted for.
 
This represents around 40% of the student population.

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