Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Friday’s article “Students To Vote on ICA Cost.” Thank you for writing the article and highlighting a few of the many areas the Developing Athletic Resources and Facilities Enhancements (D.A.R.E.) initiative will benefit. It must be stated that this fee has nothing to do with student athlete scholarships. It will strictly fund the enhancement and maintenance of faulty campus athletic facilities severely in need of repair.

Every athletic facility on campus will be improved through the D.A.R.E. initiative. Critical facility enhancements will be made to Pauley Track, Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, Campus Diamond, Robertson Gym and Harder Stadium, all of which are operated by the Department of Recreation. With the passage of the D.A.R.E. initiative, improvements to campus facilities would start this summer.

Sustainability is an important part of D.A.R.E. Many campus facilities are over 50 years old, and the initiative will help those outdated facilities meet environmental mandates to ensure safe venues for athletic competition.

As mentioned in last week’s article, Campus Pool is 70 years old and literally beyond repair. A recent study found that Campus Pool leaks over one million gallons of water each year and wastes an incredible amount of energy. The new aquatics center will greatly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and will be energy efficient. And just like the current Campus Pool, the new aquatics center will be open to all students during scheduled hours.

Another area of concern is the recently condemned Pauley Track. Due to its unsafe surface conditions, track and field competitions can no longer be held at the facility. The D.A.R.E. referendum will provide funding to resurface the track, install safe bleachers for spectators and add lights, which will extend hours of use and make it safer for students after dark. These enhancements are essential for students from all across campus who use the facility such as ROTC, the triathlon team, ESS classes, Relay for Life, the track and field team and the hundreds of students who jog on the track on their own time.

The UCSB campus is full of champions inside and outside of the classroom. As such, we must have top-notch facilities to showcase these champions. The time is now to make a difference that will last many generations. Thank you and GO GAUCHOS!