A proposal to increase UC Irvine student fees to help fund athletic scholarships has moved a step closer to a vote.
The Irvine student athlete advisory committee will submit within two weeks a proposal to the student legislative council. The plan offers a choice of three quarterly fee increases, $13, $19 or $33. A $13 increase could raise a minimum of $800,000 annually.
The council, which could amend the proposal, will decide whether to put it to a student referendum this spring. The measure would then need to receive 60% of the vote with at least 25% of the about 17,400 undergraduate students voting.
The increase would not take effect until the fall of 2000. Full-time students will pay $1,290.50 for the upcoming spring quarter in tuition and fees.
The $33 fee would enable the school to bring back its baseball program--dropped in 1992--and introduce women's water polo and another women's sport, which has yet to be decided.
Money would also go to the band, the pep squad, the student athlete advisory committee and recreational sports, like crew and sailing, according to Sarah Libecap, a volleyball player who worked on the five-member committee that wrote the proposal.
"Athletics are a major vehicle to have your school be recognized," said Libecap, a senior. "Through that recognition, the value of the degree will be increased. You look at a big program like UCLA and they get quite a few benefits through the success of athletics."
Libecap said Irvine ranks last in the Big West Conference in scholarships and in the bottom 6% among all Division I schools.
Only men's basketball, women's basketball, women's volleyball and men's tennis have full scholarship allotments. Irvine offers 82 scholarships in 14 men's and women's sports. The NCAA allows 162.4.
At Irvine, an athletic scholarship is about $10,000 for a California resident and about $17,000 for an out-of-state resident.
"This will allow us to compete on the same level with all the other Big West Conference schools," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.
Students will choose between the three fees or vote no in the referendum.
* A $13 fee increase would fully fund every sport, Guerrero said, except men's and women's track and field. Men's and women's cross-country, which is tied to the track program, would be fully funded.
* A $19 fee increase would fully fund every sport, Guerrero said, including track and field, and women's water polo would be added.
* A $33 fee increase would fund every sport, Guerrero said, and baseball, women's water polo and another women's sport would be added.
This effort follows similar referendums to help athletics at three other University of California campuses.
UC Davis students voted last week to raise quarter fees $127 by 2003-2004, part of which will go to building and improving athletic facilities.
In June, UC Riverside students agreed to pay an extra $35 per quarter to fund athletic scholarships and add sports if the school jumps to the Division I level.