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Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 18:40
EL PASO, TX - The UTEP athletic program needs money.
And they're asking their students to help provide it.
Wednesday and Thursday, UTEP students are voting on a proposed referendum that would add a $10 per credit hour athletic fee to their tuition.
If it passes, the athletic department would receive about $3 million a year added to their $20 million budget.
UTEP athletic director Bob Stull says the cost to run the Miner program is always increasing and more money must be raised to stay competitive.
"We're aspiring to be a tier one institution and so we're not asking to take tremendous, huge jumps," Stull said. "Any increase is always hard to swallow for anybody, but I think its just a fact of life, things become more expensive."
The new fee, which would start in the fall of 2011, would also give a $1 million to other student organizations.
"All that's gonna do is release $1 million back to the departments that needed that money in the first place and are not getting it," UTEP senior Isaac Perez said. "The problem is that $1 million is not really all that much for all the things student life encompasses."
Still there are some students who think more money for athletics will benefit student life.
"Well I think it's a great initiative for the university," UTEP student Alexia Pena said. "I think it's a great way to enhance our athletics. It's also a way for us to achieve tier one status, especially if we're competing with other universities across the nation."
UTEP is expected to announce the results of the vote tomorrow evening.