Chancellor Hinshawa will decide if the $50 student athletics fee should move forward

HA Note: “It is up to Manoa Chancellor Virginia S. Hinshaw whether a controversial proposal to levy an athletic fee on University of Hawai’i-Manoa students will go forward in time for the fall semester.”

About the potential $50 student athletics fee, Hinshaw’s spokesman Greg Takayama said that there has:
“been no final decision on imposing an athletic fee. “It is still under consideration by the chancellor.” (HA)

HA Note: “Should she choose, Hinshaw can forward a proposal to UH President David McClain, who would determine whether it goes to the Board of Regents for final approval. Takayama said it could be possible to have something in front of the regents in time for the fee to be imposed for the fall semester that begins Aug. 24. Two campus committees have split on whether a $50-per-semester fee should be imposed to help the financially strapped athletic department. Takayama said the Campus Fee Committee “recommended against the fee” while the Athletic Advisory Board “supports the fee.” In return for the imposition of the fee, the athletic department has said it will provide vastly increased free seating to students at UH events. For football, for example, students would have up to 5,000 seats at their disposal at Aloha Stadium.”

HA Note: “Associated Students of UH President Jaime Sohn said two “unofficial” student surveys this month both expressed “overwhelming opposition” to a mandatory athletic fee. Sohn said an online survey of full-time undergraduate students drew 739 responses with 570 (77 percent) opposed and 168 (23 percent) in favor. In addition, Sohn said ASUH polled students attending a recent campus event and “over 70 percent” opposed the imposition of a fee.”

About how ASUH is opposed to the student athletics fee, ASUH President Jame Sohn said:
“It is really more of a tax. To say it is a ‘fee’ is sugar coating it.” (HA)

HA Note: “In February, the ASUH Senate passed a resolution stating its opposition to a mandatory fee. ASUH represents approximately 14,000 undergraduates. New ASUH officers are scheduled to take office May 7. Athletic director Jim Donovan, whose department has a $5.4 million accumulated deficit over the past five years, told the regents in February that such a fee was needed to help balance the budget. UH is forecast to operate $2.5 million to $3 million in the red in the current fiscal year.”

About how UH Athletics could get about $2 million per year from the $50 fee, with UH the only WAC school without a students athletics fee, JD said:
“Philosophically, I think this is something that should have been adopted years ago. Even if it isn’t done now, it needs to be done in the future.” (HA)

HA Note: “Sohn said students are concerned that while some academic and other programs may be cut in the current economy money will be going to athletics. Earlier this year students at WAC member Utah State voted to raise athletic fees to $243 per year. At Fresno State, another WAC school, the president imposed a fee hike giving athletics $32 per semester of a student fee after a student referendum failed to approve a rise. Long Beach State students voted down a proposed $95 per semester fee.”


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