EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Students at UTRGV will be voting next week on whether or not to bring football to the University. The vote will decide if student fees will be raised to help pay for the program.
Students will be voting online November 8-10 to decide if the school will bring football, women’s swimming and diving as well as marching bands to both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses in the next five years
A ‘Yes’ vote will cause student fees to increase by $11.25 per credit hour starting next fall semester.
The increase will help pay for the programs which Chasse Conque, the UTRGV Athletic Director and Vice President said has helped other universities grow.
“You’re seeing five, six, seven thousand new students choose those institutions,” he said. The increase in students brings the university more money. “That creates tuition dollars, those tuition dollars are solely dedicated to the student experience and academic enterprise,” Conque said.
Most students that ValleyCentral asked on campus were in favor of the increase because of the benefits having more sports would bring.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Samantha Reimer, a UTRGV student. “I think it will be exciting to have the new addition of the football team and also swim and dive team. I think it’s also money for more student activities on campus.”
One student, Citali Anzaldua, said she was in favor of the idea because it gives students the opportunity to continue what they loved doing in high school. “I kinda like that it’s happening because when I was in high school I was a cheerleader, and I was in band as well, and I would always enjoy Friday night lights,” she said.
Even though most students are for the increase, some still have concerns about how where the fees are going and who is impacted.
UTRGV student Hannah Rocha said she would probably be voting yes once the polls opened. “But, I feel like the money that’s going to that could be used better,” she said.
Another student, Mia Munoz, said she was “a bit concerned” about the fee increases that would happen following a ‘Yes’ vote because tuition and fees are “already kind of pricey for some students.”
According to the University, students in the guaranteed tuition and fees program won’t pay the fee increase.
Perhaps the most expensive part of starting new athletic programs like football and swimming and diving is constructing the proper facilities to hold those events.
Conque said the university won’t have to build any spaces for either sport. Instead, they will use existing arenas.
“That’s a huge piece of this puzzle,” he said. “Very different from what we were looking four, five, six years ago. So, the stadium piece, plenty of facilities for us to compete in and truly giving us an opportunity to rally the valley by playing in all of the communities that support us.”