Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


$mitty’s Cents

Athletics taking precedent over education?

The talk of the summer was whether the university should find money to build one of three things:

1) On-campus football stadium

2) On-campus athletic facility (football stadium and basketball arena)

3) On-campus Wellness and Recreation Center

Student Government of course is in the middle of these discussions because of the finances needed to build such a project. And that means that students will be affected financially somewhere down the line.

Why are we worrying about athletics and not education? Why are we not building another business building, or giving students the opportunity to get more varied choices of degrees on the other campuses besides Boca? No one knows that answer, but maybe some light could be shed on the subject.

Athletics is what brings money into an institution. Education can bring money in depending on research and other things like that. However, athletics is an almost guaranteed revenue stream. Ticket sales, parking revenue, and the concessions from the games are all ways that the teams and the department bring in money. This year, the department is charging the community for volleyball and soccer games. It’s a sign that our athletic program at FAU is starting to fall into place with others around the country.

While a Wellness/Recreation Center will benefit more students directly because they can work out and keep in better shape, once again, no revenue is coming in. This is not a hole-in-the-ground project. The money that would be spent and that would keep being spent to keep it running is well worth it, however, there would be no revenue stream coming in.

Now you have to measure serving students…or making money.

Combining an athletic facility with a wellness center would not work. Campus Recreation is technically under the Athletic Department’s control-you have to keep the two entities completely separate. Combining the project is fine, but not combining the building. There must be two separate buildings with two separate people in charge of them: a Wellness Center and Campus Recreation and the Athletic Facility

Building a Wellness Center would benefit the Boca Raton students more than any other students. Other campuses will still benefit from this financial endeavor because their campus recreation programs will be enhanced. A football stadium would not directly benefit the other campuses because they still have to drive to the Boca campus to go to the game.

FAU has put itself in a bind. There is nowhere else to build. We have built horizontally and not vertically. The tallest building on the Boca campus is only four stories high (besides the parking garages). To build anything else, we have to demolish old buildings and build new ones since the existing buildings are not strong enough to build vertical additions onto them. While every department deserves and wants a separate building, we have to start building vertically and stop building horizontally.

Both facilities are needed and one is not needed more then the other. The compromise I would like to see is a Campus Recreation and Wellness Center built separate from the Athletic Facility. Two completely separate freestanding buildings (since you can’t put a Wellness Center inside of a football stadium – so in this case – don’t build vertically). However, the best way to sell a project like this to students and to the community is to sell it as a package. The fundraising for this needs to be done collectively. Just remember, KEEP THE TWO SEPARATE.

That’s all for now. And remember: Although $mitty is spelled with a dollar sign, Student Government using you’re A&S fees to give you free stuff makes cents!

To receive e-mails updating you on student government athletic events including mascot appearances, dance team and cheer team appearances, barbeques, tailgate parties, and pep rallies, send an e-mail to: [email protected].

To contact Rick Smith, call 561/297-1182 or e-mail him at [email protected].

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