NJIT Athletics: Students Subsidizing Sports
By Megan Sweeney, copy editor
During my tenure at NJIT, I have not always agreed with the decisions the university has made.
Recently, NJ.com posted a story reporting that the university is spending $13.1 million on athletics, with $11.9 million coming from the university’s treasury fund. This number does not include the $102 million required to build the arena, nor does it include the fees required for entering the Atlantic Sun Conference. The university’s athletics programs should have generated the income to support themselves… except they haven’t. In fact, the university’s athletics program has only covered about 10% of the cost, bringing in about $1.2 million.
At first glance, this doesn’t seem like much to be upset over, but upon further thought, students are forced to realize that the funds financing this behavior come from the students’ pockets. In fact, “Students who have the least interest in their college’s sports are often required the most to support them,” states Sandhya Kambhampati, a data analyst.
The article states that in 2014, the university generated $2.3 million from a $160 Student Athletic Fee. I consider myself an individual who likes to know how the money is spent. This development piqued my willingness to investigate further. Upon further investigation of my student bill, I came to the conclusion that this athletic fee is different than the $130 Student Activity Fee and must be somewhere within the bounds of University Fees.
My question to the university is: why? Why are we spending money this way? Why the lack of transparency? Isn’t it fair to let students know what their money is going towards? Why are athletics fees something separate from student activities fees?
For a university that boasts of its pragmatism, the cost-benefit analysis here is seemingly non-existent. NJIT boasts about the importance of return on investment, claiming that the university is more worthwhile because of this. In this instance, the importance of cost-benefit analysis is lost. It is not worthwhile to sustain activities in this manner. It’s important to note that I’m not advocating the removal of athletics from the university; perhaps we need to take a look at the way athletics is being financed and implemented.