UOregon nets millions each year from mandatory athletics fee. Less than half of students even attend games.

Every student has been charged $25.50 per semester to enter a ticket lottery that 45 percent of students never access.

The senate's decision supports a student government resolution to cut a $1.7 million contract with Oregon Athletics.

The University of Oregon Senate announced its support for a student government resolution that aims to end the practice of charging every student a fee to enter the sports ticket lottery, whether they enter the lottery or not. 

The group of students, faculty, and stakeholders passed a motion on Feb. 24 that, in its own words, “supports ASUO’s autonomy and authority over its own budget, specifically regarding its February 2020 decision to terminate its approximately $1.7M per-year agreement with the UO Athletics Department.”

Right now, the school charges $25.50 per semester to every student to allow them to enter the ticket lottery. According to the Senate’s motion, 45 percent of students do not attend any athletic events in a year, and at the time of the vote, the school had not yet announced if it would even be playing football and basketball in the next school year. 

The PAC-12 has since announced its football schedule, which includes the Oregon Ducks. However, the ticket website notes that “ticket usage will be based on local and state health authorities due to COVID-19.”

[RELATED: Cornell University slammed for allegedly donating student fees to Black Lives Matter]

The Associated Students of the University of Oregon Senate President Claire O’Connor told Campus Reform she believes attendance at sporting events will still be prohibited this fall, and that the Board of Trustees confirmed the Senate’s budget proposal on March 10. 

”The money previously used to fund the athletics agreement will be reallocated to several basic needs programs that we will be implementing next year, and we will also be decreasing the Incidental Fee by $3 per student per term. This pandemic has taught us that every dollar can matter, and as a whole, the ASUO wants to do everything in our power to not charge students unnecessarily,” O’Connor said. 

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that student leaders are considering other ways to use the funding that they claim would have a more positive impact on student life, such as helping offset the cost of textbooks, paying for emergency housing when needed, and hiring staff to help students apply for public welfare programs. 

Oregon University’s Athletics Department brought in $391.8 million in revenue in fiscal year 2020, which ended in June of that year.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito