The Student Government Association passed Senate Resolution 20 Tuesday Night, which allocates 87 percent of new funds raised by the GAF to the athletic department.
The controversial resolution needed a majority vote of 13 in favor and received 15. Ten senators voted against the resolution.
SGA added rules to discussion to keep the night short, but senators didn’t adjourn until 9 p.m. Students could only talk once and senators could only speak for thirty seconds.
Student discussion lasted more than an hour, with students on both sides giving their perspectives.
“Athletics was last on the list when (SGA) was deciding where funds would be allocated to,” said USD swimmer Bryce Fehringer. “Instead of thinking of 87 percent going to one organization, think of it going to different smaller parts in athletics.”
Several students disagreed with Fehringer and those who shared his views.
“It’s not fair and it’s not a deal for USD students,” said Brady Carroll, a student in attendance. “Student comes first, so support the students, not just the athletes.”
Some students disagreed that only athletics would benefit from the money. USD swimmer Berkley Nowlan said athletes help bring recognition to the university, and that in turn helps other departments.
“I want people to realize that us student-athletes represent the Coyote family everywhere we go,” Nowlan said. “It brings support, the funding that we need. This 87 percent goes a long way. In the long run, this money will help fund the fine arts.”
Nathan Stockfleth, another student at Tuesday night’s meeting, argued that athletics gets much more support from donations than other organizations.
“I don’t know of any other academic department that has something quite like a booster club, per se, that (the athletic department) draws money from,” he said. “I guarantee you if asked 100 students at random if this was a good idea, a majority is probably going to say no.”
SGA also passed Resolution 21, which supports equal pay for equal work in the Summit League. Referees at women’s basketball games get payed less than referees at men’s basketball games.
Resolution 22 was also passed, which gives new water fountains to the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.