After several months of discussion, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved the $86 per year increase of WCU’s athletic fee for the next two years.
This increase will up the athletic fee from $782 to $868 per year, roughly $434 per semester.
Funding from the increase will be used to fulfill a larger, $60 million budget with the remainder of the money coming from fundraising.
The budget will be used to repair structural issues within the athletic facilities on campus, as well as ensuring these buildings meet accessibility requirements per the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA).
According to WCU Athletics Director Alex Gary in a press release from WCU, “some of our athletic facilities have served well beyond their life expectancy and are in desperate need of renovation, repair or replacement. Coupled with a significant fundraising campaign, the vote today will go a long way in helping us address much-needed renovations. Catamount Athletics looks forward to continuing our facility master planning process and working with our alumni and donors to help make progress toward our vision.”
After the increase, WCU will have the third-largest athletics fee out of the 17 UNC System schools in North Carolina, moving from its current position as the seventh highest.
According to WCU SGA President Rebecca Hart, athletics funding must come from ticket sales, sponsorships and student fees. Due to the rural nature of Cullowhee, it is hard to generate large amounts from ticket sales; thus the reasoning behind the increase.
Hart also expressed the importance of supporting our sports teams, remarking that WCU’s athletics department brings school pride to students as well as donors and sponsors.
For more information about student fees, please click here.