Thursday, August 21, 2008

$3.5 Million and Counting

Alumni and others are just not coming forward with donations for the Saluki Way project:

Private donations for the first phase of the project rose from $1.6 million at the end of May to a $3.5 million currently, athletic director Mario Moccia said. But a large portion of the $83 million dollar project, which administrators have said will be funded equally by student fees and private donations, remains undetermined.

Student fees will double to pay for part of the project as well:

Staggered increases to student fees for the project are expected to cover half of the total. The student fee for the project increased from $40 to $60 this year while an increase to $80 is scheduled for fall 2009.


This whole project will be built on the backs of students and community members, ultimately ruining another generation of potential university donors. The "do it at all costs" approach has a bill that will come due down the line and it ain't gonna be pretty.
Now is that staggered student fees or staggering student fees? Oh well, let them eat cake.
When you consider how much of the sales tax revenue going to the stadium is also generated by students, then it becomes clear just how much of the project is their responsibility. I guess you gotta give it up to Moccia and the boys though, because they'll get their stadium and be on to better jobs well before it becomes clear how little financial support there is outside of the student body for this little project.
What really gets me is how much the members of the community who already supported SIU and the athletic programs are getting burned with all of this. Consider this: As an avid Saluki fan, I was already donating to the different scholarship funds. It is something that I am proud to do. However, with my children going to school at SIU, I am now "donating" twice, the second time being in the form of student fees. But that isn't all, because I live in Carbondale. I shop in town, so now I am "donating" 3 times, because I am paying higher sales taxes to pay for the new facilities. I can't even begin to imagine how much I will fund in this project. And, I know I'm not the only person who is getting it pulled from every angle. The locals who send their kids to school at SIU are getting burned big time.
Most of the alumni who are pro-athletics feel the same way about the administration. Most who want to donate just want to wait until the plans are out and the shovels hit the ground. Look at the threads on Saluki Talk if you want an example.

If there's a universal thread in all of this, it's the distrust of the SIU administration.
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