SIU Student Athletics Fee Continues to Climb


By WSIL Reporter

CARBONDALE -- There's no denying its becoming more an more expensive to be a college student. It's no different at SIU.

Athletic fees are a mandatory expense tacked onto the bill to the tune of $630 dollars a year.
Szymond Opieczonek is on a tennis scholarship and he doesn't mind the cost.
"We have to help the athletics department. I am on a 50 percent scholarship, so I'm really happy that money goes there," he says.
Athletic Director Mario Moccia says the fee goes to cover other operation costs as well.  
"You have 18 varsity athletic teams, 400 student athletes. You know they have their practice uniforms, their game uniforms, they travel to competitions," he explains. 
Some students like Iza Ramirez says its a small price to pay for Saluki pride.
"It's not just for them. They're supporting the school. They're representing everyone else here," she says.
SIU students don't pay for admission to athletic events. That's also incorporated into the athletic fee.
But that doesn't sit well with everyone .
Marc Mercado  feels the university is unfairly making students pick up the tab.
"I have to pay for my own tuition and I find it wrong that I'm having to pay more for a service I don't use," he explains.
Moccia acknowledges not everyone is a fan of atheltics, but compares it to a taxpayer having to financially support laws they don't necessarily agree with. 
"I think a the end of the day, though, the institution has made a decision that intercollegiate athletics is important for the university as a whole, whether as a PR vehicle or what have you, and to rely on student fees," he adds.
The board of trustees raised the student athletic fee by three percent in July. That is the fourth increase in the last five years.
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