The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Regents to hear Kyle proposal

The University Board of Regents prepares to meet Wednesday and Thursday to consider approving various proposals including the University’s proposed Kyle Field renovations and changes to tuition and fees for the Texas A&M University System.
A projected $425 million expansion and renovation of Kyle Field would include a $95 million renovation of the east side, or student section. Of that sum, students have been expected to raise $75 million. The source of that funding will be potentially determined at the regents meeting.
The University proposed that 60 percent of needed funds come from a mandatory increase in the University Advancement Fee, UAF, and 40 percent from an increase in the price of student sports passes. The proposal calls for an increase in the cost of student fees by $2.42 per semester credit hour and an increase in the cost of home game tickets by $11.48 per game.
As the meeting nears, some student arguments regarding the way Kyle Field should be funded have resurfaced.
The 66th Session of Student Senate will consider an emergency piece of legislation during its Tuesday meeting that opposes the administration’s proposal to fund Kyle Field.
Bill authors Cary Cheshire, junior political science major, and Fernando Sosa, sophomore political science major, claim the proposal is a side effect of a greater lack of University transparency.
Sosa said University officials did not seek the advice of the Tuition and Fees Advisory Committee, which is made up of staff and students, before submitting the payment plan to the board, a violation of the University’s own protocol, and that the proposal has no mention of a sunset provision.
“The problem with not having a sunset clause is that in the long run, there is no way to guarantee that the fee will decrease after the renovation is finished,” Sosa said. “Without a sunset clause, the fee is permanent.”
Quinten Womack, A&M System student regent and junior business administration major at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, said with any issue like this, there will be players on both sides. Womack added that the actions taken by the board of regents reflect their comprehensive knowledge of the matters that come before them.
“It’s not always that they make the decision that the most vocal group of students brings about,” Womack said. “It’s a very long-term decision. I think the board of regents knows that they have to make the best decision on topics like this even if it isn’t the most popular decision.”
Steven Moore, System vice chancellor of marketing & communications, said while the issue is important, the meeting agenda addresses items other than Kyle Field.
“There are significant academic and facility highlights for many of the schools in this meeting. If you review the agenda, you can see what pertains directly to Texas A&M. In terms of tuition and fees, there will be thoughtful discussion on all proposed increases, no formalities. It is important to our chancellor and board members that we are good stewards of all resources, regardless of the source,” Moore said.
Eric Schroeder, junior biomedical engineering major and chairman of Texas Aggie Conservatives, sent an email to students’ University email accounts inviting written testimony to regents against the Kyle Field proposal said that in addition to written testimony, Texas Aggie Conservatives will be protesting from 1-2 p.m. Wednesday outside of the MSC. Schroeder said the protest is more than just a stand on principle.
“[The board of regents] genuinely cares about the student experience here at Texas A&M University, and will make the best decision they see fit,” Schroeder said. “If this is prompted by hundreds of Aggies submitting testimony against the fee, and even thousands leaving comments against any sort of proposed fee increase, then I have done my job.”

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