Sarah Sarder of the NT Daily wrote a good story on the University’s perspective on the issue.
Essentially, it is about keeping North Texas competitive in the league in all sports. The fee is not outlandish or even galling considering the rest of CUSA.
I voted ‘yes’ on the stadium referendum back in 2008. My reasonings then were essentially that athletics are the front porch of a University.
My reasoning now is this: Anything worth doing is worth doing well. North Texas long ago choose to compete in Division 1 (FBS), so this debate should not be about “dropping down to D-2” vs raising the fee. It should be about weighing the costs against the benefits. For the $4 per credit hour, students who are interested will receive free tickets to the games — a good piece of entertainment whatever the sport you choose by the way — and the athletes will get better care, and the supporting groups — cheerleaders, band — will get upgrades to uniforms.
This, all for a reasonable sum.
The arguments about spending money on ‘more worthwhile’ things or ‘something that everyone can benefit from’ are missing the point.
This vote is not about spending money on academics or athletics but only on spending it on athletics. If someone somewhere has an idea of an academic expenditure that would be best funded through the raising of the student fees they should propose it and let the body vote on it.
Also if only the direct beneficiaries of an expenditure paid for them no one at NT (or elsewhere, but that is a public finance discussion for another day) would have as nice or useful of an anything as they do. Sharing the expenditure across the student body makes it feasible for anything worthwhile endeavor to be funded.
By the way, if you want to rail against a scam, go look at this.
This fee is reasonable and will have direct and indirect benefits for all of North Texas athletes, students, alumni, and visitors for years to come.
Go Mean Green!