UH considers athletic fee for all students

Jaime Sohn
Jaime Sohn
John McNamara
John McNamara
Tehane Higa.
Tehane Higa.

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL)- Affected by the economy, University of Hawaii at Manoa athletics considers charging all students a flat fee.

With about 14,000 full-time undergraduate students, the sports fee proposal only in its preliminary phase, is already kicking up debate.

"Welcome to the SCIO club!," said Student Reed Nakamura.

These average students aren't the most athletic.

"Last time I held a ball was in high school P.E. When it was required," said Student Justine Elona.

But still, these anime fanatics could soon pay for athletics.

"Most students are concerned. Pretty worried. They're trying to watch what's happening on campus and make sure what happens is in the best interest of students," said UH Student President Jaime Sohn.

The UH athletic program is one of the strongest in the Western Athletic Conference, but the only one that doesn't bill all students for athletics.

"We want it to stay there," said Associate Athletics Director John McNamara.

This isn't the first time there's been the idea of adding an athletic fee.

"Given the current financial situation it was an opportune time to resurface the issue and start having some constructive dialog," said McNamara.

"If I was not interested in sports, I wouldn't want to be paying for this," said Student Athlete Tehane Higa.

Student Reed Nakamura said, "When athletes compete, they represent our school so giving them more chances is actually good for our school."

But its not only about the dollars.

"It's more about the process, we just want to make sure the right steps are taken," said Sohn.

Campus student government calls for intense evaluation and analysis before implementation, an aggressive approach before the proposed fee spikes student costs. The university is still seeking input on the matter and there's no set amount the fee might be. The goal is to have it in place by next fall.