Dinos athletics levy may go up

By Bonnie Leung

University of Calgary students may soon see a jump in the amount of money they pay to Dinos Athletics.

The Dinos Athletics Advisory Council is considering a proposal to increase the Athletics levy students pay by either $6.50 or $9.00 for each of the next four years. Full-time students currently pay $25 a semester.

According to Director of Dinos Athletics Don Wilson, the department needs more money to function.

"I took a look at the objectives of Dinos Athletics," he said. "I generated a budget based on the objectives of the department. What I’ve said to the [Students’ Legislative] Council is that in order for us to function, this is how much money we’ll need."

The $6.50 proposal will increase the levy to $31.50 in 2000/2001, while the $9.00 increase sees the levy rise to $34. Though each increase would only occur once an academic year, students would pay the levy twice a year (at the beginning of the Fall and Winter semesters), along with most other fees.

Students’ Union Vice-president Events Jared Lorenz, who sits on the Athletic Council, brought the proposal forward as a discussion item at Tuesday night’s SLC meeting. Wilson and DAAC President Marc Khouri, a Dinos athlete, attended.

Wilson hopes this levy increase will make Dinos teams more competitive and give the department funds for endowments. The increase will also cut down on the amount of fundraising the athletics teams need, said Khouri.

"[Fundraising] is stressful, no one wants to do it," said Khouri. "So it’s a trade off. It’ll just make it easier for the student athlete because on top of that, you have school, which is why we’re here."

SLC members were concerned about the amount of the increase and that it would be locked in a four-year plan. At the end of the discussion, council took a straw poll about whether or not they supported a fee increase for next year. The results were seven in favour and eight against.

"If SLC gives me the direction to do so, I will lobby the other committee members to vote against it in the interests of students," said Lorenz afterward.

Lorenz believes there is a very real possibility that DAAC will pass the proposal.

"I would say it probably will go through," he said. "I’m only one of 13 members. I can’t control how anyone else votes. It will make my case stronger if I have SLC’s backing."

The proposal will come forward to DAAC again on Mar. 23 and, if it gets passed, will move on to the Planning and Finance Committee and then the Board of Governors. If passed, the increase will take effect Fall 2000.

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