Students To Vote in November on Athletic Fee

COMMERCE, Texas — On Thursday, Nov. 13, and Friday, Nov. 14, Texas A&M University-Commerce students will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed athletic fee that will provide about $1.8 million for the athletic department and reallocate a significant amount of money for student services.

“The fee increase is about more than athletics,” said Carlton Cooper, A&M-Commerce athletic director. “It’s about improving student life and the overall college experience both on and off the field.”

Effective fall 2009, students would contribute $10 per semester credit hour up to 12 hours to the athletic fee. In return, students would see additional funding go to programs such as Residence Life, Breakout Entertainment, Student Government Association, and other programs currently funded by the student services fee.

Sports fans and student athletes stand to gain significantly from the fee increase. Athletes will benefit from additional resources to help them succeed on the field and in the classroom and fans will enjoy a better overall experience at athletic events.

“Our goal is to be a nationally competitive Division II athletic program,” Cooper said. “That increased notoriety will not only increase media attention and recruitment opportunities for our program, but will strengthen the value of the degree from A&M-Commerce.”

Currently, four other Lone Star Conference schools have similar fees supporting their programs. West Texas A&M has a $10 per semester credit hour fee up to 12 hours; Angelo State University has a $35 per semester fee; Tarleton has a $6 per semester credit hour fee, and A&M-Kingsville has a $12 semester hour fee.

Even with the increased fee, A&M-Commerce would remain one of the most affordable schools in the A&M System.

Previous fee proposals passed by the student body include fees for the Morris Recreation Center and the Sam Rayburn Student Center. Fee proponents encourage students to consider the big picture and what can be considered not only for current students, but for future students and alumni.

“By voting for the athletic fee, students are pledging their support to a legacy of excellence that will extend beyond their years at A&M-Commerce,” Cooper said. “This will benefit students and alumni for years to come.”

All students can vote online at from 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14.