Athletics Director Keith Hackett, his hair more salt than pepper, walks down the hall to his office in the Alaska Airlines Center. Along the way he stops to greet the office staff, he seems to know all their names. He pauses to discuss the lovely Alaskan art on the walls and explains that the long, lonely and plain wall without art is meant to showcase student art in the near feature. Reaching his office Keith, jovial and friendly, takes a seat ready to talk about why he withdrew his request for a $5 per credit increase in the Athletics student fee.
Earlier this semester Director Hackett met with the UAA Union of Students (USUAA) to request a $5 dollar per credit increase in the Athletics student fee, which would have come to a $14 fee per credit hour. Director Hackett tells KRUA the fee increase was meant to meet student needs, expand programs like the cheerleading program which he considers an asset to sporting events, and help the athletics program as it faces and deals with hefty state funding cuts.
From the start Young Americans for Liberty, a University club had spoken out in opposition to the proposed increase. Ben Edwards from the group tells KRUA the group opposed the increase because the Athletics Department’s proposed fee increase caters to a select student population and the not the totality of the student body; those who would be paying the fee.
In lieu of the Board of Regents’ considering a proposal to raise tuition, Director Hackett withdrew his request for a student fee increase, which he says was out of respect for the student body.
Was Keith Hackett right to withdrawal his request for an increased student fee? Should other departments, following Hackett’s lead, withdraw their own student fee increase requests? We would like to know what you think, drop us a line and let us know!