Our View: Pulling the wool over your eyes
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 17:10
It appears that the “new” Student Activities Center project may simply be a reinvention of the football facility project for the north end zone of Liberty Bank Stadium proposed on Sept. 6, 2012, except this time students are paying for it.
Last year A-State announced the $22 million football facility project that included a lifting room, indoor practice field, movie theatre, locker-room and sports medicine facility.
What was not told during that original press release is that a year later the project would be renamed and the student body would be expected to foot the bill.
When comparing the two projects it is peculiar how similar the building proposals for the two facilities are; both in the north end zone running east to west, sharing nearly identical amenities and the buildings are only 2,000 square feet apart in size.
The major differences are that the original facility in 2012 was designed to be solely an indoor football practice facility that was funded by private donors, whereas, the new Student Activities Center is to be a facility for football as well as other groups on campus, and will be funded in-part by student fees.
Unfortunately, the specifics of the new project have been incredibly vague about nearly every aspect of the facility. This has left many of the concerns about the building’s funding, general operation and its accessibility for students unanswered.
The lack of transparency is not acceptable if students are coughing up the $11 million to repay the bond that was approved by the A-State Board of Trustees.
The fear is the new Student Activity Center is nothing more than the indoor practice facility proposed last year with a new name and students paying the bill.
To avoid getting the wool pulled over our eyes it is essential to understand how this building is going to benefit us; after all we are paying for it.
We are not opposed to our football team having adequate practice facilities, nor are we opposed to intramurals and other organizations having a facility to practice. What we are opposed to are fees being applied to the entire student body that are potentially only going to be beneficial to one small group.
In this case, Athletic Director Terry Mohajir’s statement about sports being able to reserve the facility and students allowed to have access after those times, leaves serious questions of sharing.
It is analogous of a new bicycle a group of six friends purchases together. To make the purchase fair they decide to divide the time evenly amongst themselves. We would assume everyone is getting a fair shot, but what if your time slot was from 11 o’clock at night to three in the morning. Somehow even though you have four hours just like everyone else, the bike is not nearly as exciting.
There are two viable solutions to the building dilemma 1.) Follow through with the original plans for the indoor football practice facility including its private funding, or 2.) Build the Student Activities Center as proposed but guarantee that intramural sports, the band and other groups will have equal access in terms of length as well as choice of times to use the facility.
“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of ASU.