Special Election Guide

    The Guardian offers its special D-I election primer; for more information and full pro/con statements, go to the official A.S. Special Elections page at  http://as.ucsd.edu/ica/, the con page at reclaimucsd.wordpress.com and the pro side at advanceucsd.com. 


    The results of the election — including millions of dollars at stake — will affect all students regardless of how many people vote.


    UCSD elections traditionally have low voter turnout, hovering around 20 percent. In 2007, a 55-percent voter turnout at a similar special election was enough to almost triple increase the then-$95 annual athletics fee.



    How much do I already pay for athletics? 

    All UCSD undergraduates currently pay a $359 annual — or roughly $119.78 quarterly — Intercollegiate Athletics Fee. This money goes toward scholarships, coaches’ salaries and benefits.


    If the referendum passes, how much additional money will I pay? Will everyone pay more?

    If the fee passes, undergraduates will pay an additional $495 annually — or $165 per quarter — for a total ICA fee of $854 per year. Students currently covered by financial aid will not pay the increased fees due to the proportion of the money that returns to student scholarships.


    If the referendum passes, will UCSD have a football team?

    No. The fee is solely to fund salaries and scholarship to move our existing sports to Division I. The 2011 Football Feasibility Study, commissioned by the UCSD Athletics Department, determined that football would cost over $33 million for facilities alone.


    If the referendum passes, will we pay the $495 annual fee immediately?

    No. Students will not pay this fee unless UCSD is accepted to compete into the D-I Big West athletic conference. The Big West rejected UCSD as a prospect in December 2010, opting instead to accept the University of Hawaii. If the Big West does not accept UCSD by September 2014, the referendum will be nullified and no fees will be paid. 


    Which other UC schools are in Division I? Will we be playing them?

    Aside from UCSD, the only schools in the UC system that are not Division I are UC Santa Cruz (III), UC Merced (NAIA), UC San Francisco (graduate campus, no sports). If accepted, we will play against Davis, Irvine, Riverside and Santa Barbara. UCLA and UC Berkeley are part of the Pacific-12 conference.


    Are there any academically well-known schools that are not Division I? 

    All of the Ivy League universities are Division I.  Universities with high academic rankings that are not Division I include MIT, Cal Tech, University of Chicago, Harvey Mudd College and Johns Hopkins University. However, all these are private colleges.



    – UCSD has already outgrown Division II by enrollment, SAT scores and athletic ability,

    -Students covered by financial aid will not pay fee increase

    -Increase recognition, school spirit, alumni donations and prestige.



    -Hurts middle-class students who won’t receive more financial aid

    -2003 study of nine D-I conferences found that Flutie effect (see “terminology”) is not real, and D-I may not increase alumni giving

    -Risky when student fees keep increasing



    $359 — Current annual student athletics fee

    $495 — Total annual increase in athletics fees if referendum passes

    $143.55 —amount of increase that would go toward student (including non-athlete) aid

    $854 — Total annual sports fee, if referendum passes


    3 — Number of UCSD sports that compete in Division I (water polo, volleyball, fencing)  

    29 — number of national championships held by UCSD teams

    $5 million — additional money that Football Feasibility Study claims is bare minimum for competing in Division I

    $11 million — amount the referendum would raise for athletics if enrollment remains the same/amount necessary to be competitive



    1370 — UCSD’s 75th percentile SAT scores (math and verbal)

    1216 — 75th percentile of Big West schools

    1070 — 75th percentile SAT scores (math and verbal) of other CCAA schools

    14, 855 — average enrollment of CCAA schools (2008)

    28,000 — approximate UCSD enrollment (2008)



    CCAA — the Division II California College Athletics Association UCSD currently competes in


    Big West — West Coast D-I conference UCSD wants to gain entry into; currently includes UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara


    Return to aid — the 29 percent of each fee that goes toward student scholarships


    Flutie effect — assumption that athletic success leads to name recognition, prestige and spending; a 2003 study of nine D-I conferences found that the Flutie effect might not be statistically viable





    2000 — UCSD moves to Division II from Division III


    2007 — 55 percent of students turn out to vote in special election to increase athletics fee from $95 annually to $329 annually


    2008 — Then-A.S. Senator Utsav Gupta creates Football Feasibility Task Force to investigate possibility of creating a football team.


    December 2010 — Big West conference rejects UCSD


    March 2011 — Athletics Department pays $28,000 for Athletics Feasibility Study, concludes that a football team is not feasible but suggests move to Division I


    August 2011 — Four-year moratorium on moving to D-I is lifted; UCSD now eligible to advance.


    April 2011 — A.S. President Alyssa Wing’s Board the Wing slate — with football and Division I as a key component of the campaign — sweeps campus elections


    February – March 2012 — Special Election


    September 30, 2014 — Referendum nullified (with no fees) if Big West Conference does not accept UCSD by that time




    “UCSD does not fit the changing profile of the average Division II institution. UCSD does fit the profile of the average Division I institution (academics, size, mission)” — Football Feasibility Study, March 2011



    We see it as an investment. Seniors, juniors and sophomores would not have to pay right now. It’s an investment. In our last referendum, we voted in favor of RIMAC. Everyone is happy with the facility and now we would be putting the money in to something that would better the school as well.”


    Triton Athletic Council Representative

    Junior women’s soccer player


    “I would love for sports to advance to D-I, and they definitely deserve it, but this
    is a case of misplaced priorities at a time when student fees are rising. […] The benefits, like name recognition and school spirit, are intangible, and the cost is too high for something that not every student would concretely benefit from.”

    Kevin Quirolo, Public Education Coalition of UCSD



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