KETR Local
2:38 am
Sun November 9, 2008

Students to vote on athletic fee this week

Commerce – The Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Department has released more information regarding a proposed referendum to be voted on this week.

If approved by a majority vote, students would be charged $10 per semester credit hour up to 12 credit hours total. In return, students would see additional funding go to programs like Residence Life, Breakout Entertainment, Student Government Association, and other programs currently funded by the student services fee.

Additional development in athletics would include scholarship dollars, recruiting, marketing and promotions, and the hiring of a strength and conditioning coach. A complete breakdown of money utilization can be found below.

A projected $1.8 million would be generated if the referendum passes. The fee would go into effect for the fall 2009 semester.

All students can vote online at www.tamu-commerce.edu from 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14.

HOW WILL THE MONEY BE UTILIZED?

SCHOLARSHIP DOLLARS:
- Scholarship money will be used to increase the opportunities to attract quality student-athletes in attending this institution.
- To build the program into a winning program with National Prominence.
- To make TAMU-C comparable to the top three programs in the Lone Star Conference (Abilene Christian, West Texas A&M, Tarleton State).

RECRUITING:
- To plan recruiting opportunities so that coaches can get to know recruits on a one-on-one basis.
- To ensure that coaches are recruiting the top student-athletes both athletically and academically by being more visible within the state.

SCHEDULING:
- To have coaches and administration plan ahead to secure a quality schedule with prominent teams.
- To compete against the best to be nationally recognized and create a winning atmosphere.
- To provide opportunities for top teams to play in the Field House to give fans an exciting experience and national championship experience.

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS:
- Enhance the overall experience while attending competitions (tailgate, in-game promotions, brand identity).
- Enhance the look of all playing facilities (signage, logos, field logos).
- Grow student fan support groups with new promotional strategies (Lion's Den).
- Increase the community engagement activities to further develop area support.

ACADEMIC ENHANCEMENT:
- To attract quality student-athletes there needs to be an increase in academic support services.
- Student-athletes graduate at a higher rate, 43 percent, compared to the student population, 34 percent.
- Develop tutorial programs that will give non-student-athletes opportunities for employment.

COMPLIANCE ENHANCEMENT:
- To better prepare the student-athletes and coaches to be in compliant with rules and regulations through education, attending seminars.

LIFE SKILLS:
- Provide leadership opportunities for student leaders and student-athlete leaders (NCAA conventions, NCAA leadership programs, career workshops, Division II seminars).

STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH:
- Hire a coach that would be responsible for the conditioning of all student-athletes.
- Provide a secure and safe environment for student-athletes to train.
- Train athletes so they can compete at the highest level and be able to win championships.
- Have a safe and secure facility so that all students can schedule and use various rooms for student organizations.

ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT:
- Allow more opportunities to reconnect and rebuild relationships with alumni to lead them in making financial contributions to further enhance the overall look of facilities.
- Provide funding to allow teams to purchase necessary equipment to train and compete in.
- Being able to get better prices on equipment for all teams because of advanced planning or equipment orders.