Sometimes, just looking at the numbers doesn’t tell the whole story.
Students can easily look at the cost for an intramural team at ACU and the cost for a team at another university and believe it costs more to play intramurals here than anywhere else.
The Students’ Association did this very thing last week at its meeting when members saw that some universities charge no more than a $50 for a flag football team, but ACU charges $225. On the surface the numbers don’t seem to add up, and in the interest of students, Congress decided to look into the situation further.
However, as Congress has discovered with investigation, those numbers alone do not tell the whole story.
Many other schools include an intramural fee within their student activity fees. Some schools fund their intramural offices through their operating budget, which could come out of student tuition. ACU does neither. Danny Kittley, director of the intramural sports, said intramurals are run primarily on money received from the fees each team pays.
Kittley said he has suggested the university begin including an intramural fee in all students’ fees. Out of several similarly sized universities he researched, Kittley said ACU is the only one that funds intramurals primarily through team fees. Kittley submitted his research to a team, which presented those findings to the administration, which did not make any changes to the system.
Regardless of how the money for intramurals is collected, the office will still need the same amount to operate because of the costs of equiptment, maintenence of fields and providing staff for each game. That much is certain.
And although $225 might sound steep for a flag football team, a player on a team of 15 would pay only $15 for four regular season games and one guaranteed playoff game, with the potential for several more. Kittley said each sport is priced so that individual students pay no about $15 on average for team sports, and individual sports cost $10.
That is not a significant burden to bear for those truly interested in participating in a sport that will last several weeks.
Regardless, this is a good debate to have. The Students’ Association should meet with Kittley to determine which method of funding intramurals will best benefit students. If increasing the student activity fee to fund intramurals will benefit the Intramural Office and students better, Congress should encourage the university’s administration to make that change. The administration, after all, will be the group with the power to make such a change.
But in this debate, fee totals tell only part of the story. That is why students should investigate and learn the facts before complaining about the costs or condemning a system they might not fully understand.