The Intercollegiate Athletics Dept. is asking for a $44.50 lock-in fee that will fund athletics resources and facilities enhancements if approved in the upcoming Spring elections.
ICA reintroduced a scholarships fee on last year’s ballot that would have funded athletic scholarships for almost 300 UCSB student athletes. However, the 12-year-old initiative was the only ballot measure to be voted down by students in 2010-11. Should the Developing Athletics Resources and Facilities Enhancement, or D.A.R.E., fee pass this year, ICA will receive approximately 75 percent of the revenue.
While $33.37 of the fee will be allocated to the maintenance and enhancement of athletics facilities, $11.13 will be allotted to financial aid. If passed, the initiative will increase student fees dedicated to athletics to $303.40 per student per year. The referendum would be collected for 30 years before being put to another student vote.
Improvement projects would range from transforming the campus pool into an aquatics center to constructing and restoring bathrooms at UCSB sports venues. According to Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark Massari, the current pool is 70 years old and leaks roughly a million gallons of water into the ground soil each year.
The fee would also fund the replacement of basketball and sand volleyball courts — among other courts and sports equipment that will be displaced after the new pool is built — and maintenance of sports venues such as Robertson Gym, Harder Stadium and Pauley Track.
Men’s Soccer Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said recent budget cuts have made it difficult to manage and maintain Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
“The changes and the improvements that are needed across the board add up to a lot of money,” Vom Steeg said. “When you start to add everything up, it’s not something that’s going to come from the school or state of California. All of the donors have been great and will continue to be a big part, but we need a large sum of money to bring us up to the schools we compete against. It compares to having a house for 25 years and not putting a cent into it. We need a lot of repairs.”
Massari said this fee is mild compared to similar fees that students at other Big West schools pay. It’s far below the $465 per year that students at University of California Davis pay for athletics, he said.
“We lead the country in soccer attendance,” Massari said. “I think we are so proud of that as a campus. The games rock and tortillas are flying and it is so cool. The referendum helps to keep giving students free tickets.”
At least 20 percent of the student body must vote in the election for a reaffirmation to be considered valid. If at least 20 percent of students vote, two-thirds of the student body must support the initiative for it to pass. If the turnout is above 30.84 percent for undergraduates, the average turnout for the past 5 years, 50 percent plus one voter approval is needed for the measure to pass.
The ICA student referendum is one of 44 student lock-in fees — either new proposals or reaffirmations — featured on this year’s ballot. Each fee is charged per undergraduate student per quarter.