A.S. to hold special election for Matador football team

A.S. to hold special election for Matador football team

Taylor Villescas

David Crandall, A.S. General Manager, spoke in favor of allowing the student body the chance to vote on getting a Matador football team. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

Associated students voted during a special meeting Friday to hold a special election offering the student body a chance to vote on a referendum that could allow a Matador football team.

“It’s only fair, as their representatives, to provide (students) a forum,” said Talar Alexanian, senator of Upper Division.

Voting will take place online, the same way the annual A.S. elections are held. There was discussion of a possibility to post the link on students’ Moodle pages or portals, in an effort to increase voter turn out. This will be decided at a later date.

President Sydni Powell reminded the senators that their vote was not to approve or reject a football team, but to simply give the students the opportunity to make a decision.

The point of putting this in front of the students is to hear their voice, perhaps once and for all,” said David Crandall, A.S. General Manager. “I don’t think students will vote for this.”

The proposed referendum will add a student fee that could amount to $500 per year, or $250 per semester. The fee would be implemented for the next 30 years and would fund the team, scholarships, a stadium, and other expenses. The university also has the power to raise the fee in order to adjust for inflation.

A.S. will allocate money to advertise the election and inform students of its impact.

In order to stay in line with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, the referendum includes 87 “equivalent gender equity” scholarships and “sports program opportunities” for women across campus. This is in response to the 63 men’s scholarships that will be made available if the referendum is approved. The referendum is available for viewing on the A.S. website.

“Don’t be passive about this by not voting. You could be missing the opportunity to say yes or no,” said University Adviser Thomas Piernik.

During the regularly scheduled meeting, Professor Bernardean Broadous brought her Pan African studies class to the meeting.

“I do this so they can see how their government works from the inside out,” Broadous said. “I don’t think they know how it works, so hopefully they become interested.”

Broadous has been bringing her classes to meetings for eight years, as long as the times coincide. When she is unable to take them herself, she urges students to attend on their own to earn extra credit.

During open forum, where anyone in attendance is able to speak to the Senate for up to three minutes, Broadous called on one of her students to speak.

Maya Isiah, freshman art and English major, told the senators that she didn’t feel a football team was necessary on campus.

“We already live in a world where sports overshadows everything else,” Isiah said.

Senators thanked Broadous multiple times for bringing her class to the meeting. Piernik challenged the senators to find classes related to their specific colleges, and invite them to attend their meetings.

“Your voice at this table may seem more powerful because there are more ears to hear it,” Piernik said.