InsideHigherEd reports on student fight against Duck sports ticket tax

The UO Senate will vote this Wed on a resolution to support the students, and oppose the new mandatory fee President Schill wants our students to pay the the Ducks. I’ll post more on that soon. Meanwhile, more free national press for President Schill and UO, this from InsideHigherEd here. Read it all, some snippets below.

Pandemic-Era Priorities, by Greta Anderson February 22, 2021,

Members of the student government at the University of Oregon were reviewing their $17 million annual budget last summer when they came across a decades-old contract with the athletics department, which gave students access to tickets for football and basketball games. About 10 percent of the student government budget, or $1.7 million, was going to the athletics department each year in exchange for “free” student tickets to athletic events, according to members of the Student Senate’s Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee.

Under the current contract, students pay $25.50 each during the fall, winter and spring terms for access to tickets, even if they don’t attend any athletic events, according to Annika Mayne, a student senator and chair of the committee. The fee gives students access to a lottery for a game ticket, not an actual ticket. The charge is part of a mandatory $271.50 Incidental Fee, which funds student government programs and clubs and is paid by students each term.

…Like their counterparts at colleges and universities across the country, the ASUO’s focus on athletics and other student fees reflects a growing financial activism by young people worried about the long-term economic consequences of the pandemic and intent on not having their colleges’ financial burdens passed on to students. As a result, they are increasingly reviewing the funding and spending priorities of their institutions, especially those related to athletics, and are more closely scrutinizing how students’ tuition and fees are being spent.

Nick Schlereth, a sport management professor at Coastal Carolina University who studies athletics department spending, said in an email that conversations about student spending on higher education typically revolve around the cost of tuition, whereas fees are not commonly discussed. That’s starting to change, he said.

The ASUO decision could set an example for “student governments across the country to re-evaluate their fee allocation and usage,” Schlereth said. “It also brings to light the reliance on student fees and funds directly from the university to support an auxiliary service.”

At Oregon, Mayne, the student senator, took particular issue with administrators describing the tickets as “free.” That’s how President Michael Schill referred to them in a recent email to students, faculty and staff members.

“It’s this notion that students paying money gets them something that’s free, and that’s not true,” she said. “It’s just so inequitable to have students pay for something they’re not using.” …

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