Michael Howard, the director of athletics and recreation for Plattsburgh State, announced both the intercollegiate athletic fee and the recreation fee have been proposed to increase next academic year to the Student Association Senate Wednesday night.
The mandatory intercollegiate fee is proposed to increase from $464 to $476, a 2.6% increase. Howard said the athletic department was keen on keeping the fee increase within the Higher Education Price Index, which is an inflation index that tracks the main costs for students in higher education.
“We could use more than that, but we’re realistic about the budget climate on campus and all the other needs on campus,” Howard said. “So we worked hard to get our budget and make some substantial cuts, so 2.6 is what we think we need.”
Lower enrollment and higher administrator and professor wages contributed to the increased proposed fees, Howard said. PSU is projected to fall below 5,000 students enrolled next fall, according to PSU’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
“[Lower enrollment] is very concerning,” Howard said. “My hope is that enrollment will turn around. Is it ever going to grow back to maybe 10 years ago? Probably not because of population growth, but I do think that it will stabilize.”
The intercollegiate fee covers teams’ bus travel, overnight stays in hotels, equipment, officials and referees, student employees and more.
Howard also asked coaches to cut their teams’ budgets by 5% ahead of the fall 2019 semester as enrollment was lower than expected. He asked coaches to cut another 10% for next year’s budgets.
Part of the cuts made by coaches included leaving for games or to travel back home at different times to avoid eating on the road and avoid overnight trips when possible.
The recreation fee, which is also mandatory, is proposed to increase from $170 a year to $175 starting next academic year.
The recreation fee covers Memorial Hall’s Fitness Center, climbing wall, activities like zumba classes, yoga, kickboxing, intramural and club sports and more.
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