Students Turn Out in Record Numbers to Support Fee Increase for New Stadium

Spring Football has yet to commence, and the fall kickoff is months away. Still, the future of Cougar football is already creating a buzz on the University of Houston campus.

Just one day after the newest crop of Coogs committed to UH on National Signing Day, it was announced that students had pledged their support toward a new stadium.

UH students voted in favor of a student fee increase of $50 per semester with $45 dedicated toward a new stadium facility.

The results of the student service fee referendum were announced Feb. 2 to faculty, staff and students in the University Center’s (UC) World Affairs Lounge.

Of the 9,923 votes cast by students, 7,334 voted in favor of increasing student fees to support a new home for Cougar football.

Students had the opportunity to vote for this increase Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The student response toward this referendum (26.1 percent of UH’s student body) far exceeded that of previous proposals. The successful 2008 UC referendum received votes from 11.6 percent (4,161 votes) of students, and the 1998 referendum that supported the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center received responses from 15.3 percent of students (4,953).

The fee increase must first be approved by the UH System Board of Regents before it can be implemented. If approved by the board, it would be implemented beginning in the fall semester of this year. The regents are scheduled to meet Feb. 15.

“This is a great day for our university,” said Mack Rhoades, UH Athletics director. “This is a game changer. Years from now, we will look back on this day as a significant moment and a turning point for our university and its Athletics program. The bottom line is that we want to have an Athletics program that every one of our students can be proud of.”

“This is huge for this university,” added UH Student Government Association senator Jared Gogets. “We could not have done this without the teamwork between UH Athletics, the students, student affairs and others. This is a prime example of UH coming together as one and working to move the university forward.”