Athletics asks for a $9.85 increase to their student fee; final fee hearing remains consistent

Reading Time: 2 minutes The final day of fee hearings saw the largest requested increase to student fees in the last seven years; Athletics states that without an increase they will be entering the new year in a deficit. Building Bonds and UTA fees will remain the same.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

UVU Athletics has requested a $9.85 increase to their student fees as they are trying to cover cost of living adjustments and other increased expenditures. 

Followed by a legion of student athletes and coaches, Jared Sumsion, director of athletics, presented his proposal to the student council during the last student fee hearing on Feb. 1. His request detailed that the fee increase was necessary for the continued operation of Athletics and to help ensure that UVU teams will remain competitive. 

“Unfortunately, we’re just at a place now where we have to ask for student fees,” Sumsion told the council. “We have to request money so we can stay solid. I work with donors on a regular basis, I have yet to find one donor that will help me fundraise for operational costs.” 

Deficits have plagued the Athletic department for the last few years, as the tuition freeze last year and fee decrease the year prior set a perfect storm for the department’s financial situation. Furthermore, increased travel costs came with the high performance of UVU’s teams last year. The Review followed up with Sumsion about how high the actual deficit is; however, he has not immediately replied. 

According to Review reporting last year, the deficit figure that was given was around $2.1 million dollars. Sumsion also mentioned to the council that the $9.85 increase would not make the full difference in that deficit. 

“We’re not even asking for the full amount that we need,” Sumsion pointed out. “We’re asking for enough that we have negotiated with the administration and felt like that makes a dent in the budget deficit that we do have. We may be back next year asking for an increase.” 

The Review followed up during the meeting about how big of an increase Athletics would need to cover the deficit, to which he replied that they would need a $30 increase to fully cover it. 

Athletics requested $9.85 would go towards the following areas: $2.71 for the cost-of-living adjustments, $4.89 for increased travel costs, $1.00 for student-athlete insurance, and $1.25 to raise funds to bid for brand affiliation. This comes as the contract with Adidas is set to expire, and Athletics will need to either extend it or search for a new partner. 

In other news, Student Programs and Building Bonds / UTA were presented as a part of the hearing. Student Programs, who are currently projecting themselves to have a near $152,000 deficit by the end of the fiscal year, are seeking a $0.80 increase in their student fee; the Building Bonds and UTA fees have asked to be maintained at their current level. This was the only department not to ask for an increase. 

With the fee hearings now concluded, the Student Council is planning to take the week to develop a final proposal for the 2024-2025 student fees. If the council accepts the proposals as-is, the total increase in fees would be $24.81 — the largest increase to fees in the last seven years, and the second highest amount students have paid in those years. 

Student Body President Zac Whitlock have asked for any student feedback on fees to message him with their concerns. The next council meeting will take place on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. For more information on student government and student fees, visit the UVUSA website.