A previous letter to the editor misrepresented the impact of fees
I am writing to clear up some misinformation that was included in a letter published in the Nov. 29 edition of The Daily Evergreen under the headline “New Stadium Renovation fee being tacked on is too much.”
The fee referred to in the letter is the $25 per semester fee for undergraduate students for Martin Stadium renovation. It is not a new fee. It was approved by student vote in March 2006 and has been assessed since the fall of 2006. It was designed to cover the costs of the Martin Stadium renovation that impact students, including student seating, restrooms, entry access, concessions and areas that serve students within the stadium.
The student vote occurred well before I became WSU’s president, but I believe then-Athletics Director Jim Sterk expressed his appreciation, on a number of occasions, for the students’ support for this project, and current Athletics Director Bill Moos is fully aware of its importance, as well.
The letter also refers to the Regents’ recent vote on the $80 million renovation of Martin Stadium, which will create new seating and press box facilities. Bonds for that project will be paid through revenues coming to the Athletics Department from the new Pac-12 television contract, not through any additional student fees.
As for Housing and Dining, that is a self-supporting auxiliary of the university. A student and staff committee recommends fee levels that it determines are necessary to pay the costs of maintaining those operations. This year, the committee recommended a 4.5-percent increase in housing and dining fees and a 3-percent increase in apartment rents for the upcoming academic year. Apartment rents were not increased for this academic year, meaning the increase in rents over two years will be only 3 percent.
While any increases are difficult to absorb in this fiscal environment, I believe the committee has done a good job of balancing the need to respond to increased costs of food, energy and wages while keeping the budgets of our students in mind.
Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D.
President, Washington State University