Will It Pass?
Voting on athletics referendum to begin on Sunday
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 15:03
If the referendum is passed, the funds will be used primarily for student athletes.
“The revenue generated from the increase will be used in the areas of health, safety and welfare for student-athletes,” Benardi said. “The current conditions in these areas need to be improved. Protecting the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes should not be looked upon as optional or excessive. We have to make improvements in these critical areas.”
If the referendum passes, SGA plans to institute a rewards program for students who attend games.
Students will still be allowed to attend the more than 90 home games of each sports season. The passage of the referendum will enhance school spirit with new programs, Jewell said.
“One program that may arise if the referendum is passed is a point system,” Jewell said. “The University will track the number of games through the Colonel Card. With each game attended, students will earn points. In turn, students will be able to turn the points in for prizes that indicate school spirit. SGA would set tiers, with each tier having particular prizes assigned to them. Then depending on how many points a student has, they will be classified into a tier and then able to pick the associated prizes.”
There is also a possibility with the passage of the referendum that student worker positions in the athletics department could double, Jewell said.
These positions will be open to all students, not just student athletes, and consist of assistants for basketball games and football games, as well as other assistants within the department, Jewell said.
“Athletics is an important component of the collegiate experience,” Benardi said. “Intercollegiate athletics builds pride in the institution and serves as a window in which to view the institution as a whole. It’s important that we have a healthy, both financially and competitively, athletics program. I think it’s especially important for the future of Nicholls that we increase student enrollment. In order for us to increase our enrollment, we need to make Nicholls as physically, socially and academically attractive as possible. In my mind, the student referendum is a means toward improving all three of those important areas.”
Students have mixed feelings on the referendum and the funds that may potentially be added to their bills.
“I do not think it is such a bad idea. If the referendum keeps funds in academics and still benefits the athletics department, it is not that bad,” Colleen Beattie, dietetics freshman from Morgan City, said. “In the long run, you are not going to miss $86.”
Paul Lupo, culinary senior from Hammond, does not feel that he can take an additional $86 to his fees.
“I cannot take on another increase personally. It is just not a good time for me,” Lupo said. “The majority of the people I know feel the same. With the start of a new semester, we always have the same conversation about new fees added, and it is never a good one.”