SIU Considers Raising Athletic Fee

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By Matthew Searcy

CARBONDALE -- SIU students could soon have to dole out more money on athletic fees. The university is considering raising the cost for the upcoming fall semester. 

Currently, SIU students pay more than $1,700 a year in fees for the university. Of those expenses, one of the largest is the athletic fee.
 
"My freshman year, it was under $300 and now it is definitely over $300," said SIU senior Brett Nagel.  
 
Students pay $309 per semester on athletic fees, but a suggested increase would raise that price by about $10.   
 
"I am already in a lot of debt, and it seems like they want to keep adding to it," explained Nagel.  
 
Recent media reports cite increasing costs of scholarships and travel are eating into the athletic department's operational budget.  
 
"I understand that universities all over are going through some tough economic times, but it's hard to be on board with the idea when they put so much financial pressure on students who don't make much money as it is," said grad student Alex Loubere.  
 
He says he wouldn't mind paying the extra expense, so long as the money is spent on improvements that impact him.  
 
"As far as the facilities that I use now, I am not seeing that much improvement," explained Loubere. "For instance, I'm a grappler and I use the mats a lot, and they don't seem to be improving the conditions of the mats or cleaning them very often."
 
Last year, the rec center began charging $50 a semester for fitness classes like Zumba and cycling, programs that used to come free with membership.
 
"When I started going here, the athletic fees were less than they are now and they had more free stuff included, so it's confusing to me," said Loubere. 
 
The fee issue was tabled earlier this year by the SIU Board of Trustees, but it's expected to be taken back up at a special board meeting next week.
 
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