The tension between the athletic and residence departments at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has finally come to an end. Students who live on-campus were notified via email that an additional charge would be added to their student accounts if they wished to have housing during winter break. Some of those students were athletes, who are forced to stay on the campus due to practice and games.
There was an immense amount of outrage from athletics towards the residence life department once they discovered their athletes would have to pay the charge. Students had the option to sign up to stay on campus during winter break from December 15, 2013 to January 3, 2014, or from January 4, 2014 to February 3, 2014 and then be charged $150 for either time frame. They also could choose to stay over both time frames and pay $275. The majority of athletes would need to stay during both time frames.
The student athletes certainly expressed their frustration. Nearly every student athlete had no clue that these changes were made this year in their housing contract. "I wasn't aware of it until the email came out." Volleyball player Meghan Conley told me. All athletes are not allowed to have jobs, so being able to pay the fee was virtually impossible for most. Wrestler Jake Armellani told me, “I’m a broke college student, I can barely afford to go to Walmart on certain days. It’s just ridiculous, I have obligations. I’m here as a student athlete and I have obligations to my coach to be here when he asks me to be.”
Friday morning I talked with George Holman, who is the Director of Residence Life at Parkside. After reaching an agreement between him and the athletic department, he explained, “We just identified a way to accommodate the student athlete where they won’t pay the expenses.” Holman told me that he came to this agreement with athletic department staff members Tammy McGuckin and Tamie Falk-Day. Student athletes will need to sign up for their costs to be covered. “We just came to a solution for how those costs will be covered.”
Students at Parkside are on winter break from December 13, 2013 to February 4, 2014.
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