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Athletics Tax passed
As expected, the Indiana University Trustees passed the Athletics Tax. (IU students should thank the College Republicans for pressing the issue. The IU GOP held a rally on Friday morning and then going to the Trustees meeting to oppose the tax.) Now, IU students will have the privilege of being forced to subsidize a department that has mismanaged itself into a large structural deficit.
The Trustees argued that the student body benefits from athletics and should be supporting the department. It is true that students hold a significant number of tickets sold at a heavily discounted price, and that all IU students have the option of buying tickets at that discounted price.
So, how about raising student ticket prices? How about reducing the number of basketball seats reserved for students and offering those to the general public at a higher price? How about both? That would be a more equitable way of helping the AD budget, and is closer to a "user fee" than a tax.
The Athletics Tax sets a bad precedent. Will other departments be encouraged to go to the Trustees for a mandatory fee if they mismanage their budgets the way the Athletics Department has? IU students should not have to bear this burden. (Yes, I know the fee is "small". That is not the point.)
The IU Trustees held their meeting on the morning of May 6th. Anyone familiar with the calendar knows that this was the last day of Finals Week. Students are either busy preparing for graduation or for their last exams, or putting the finishing touches on term papers. Some are moving for the semester, others have already moved out. It is unfortunate that the Trustees would choose to pass the Athletics Tax on a day where they knew student participation would be minimized. Are they afraid of student input?