UTRGV approves referendum

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EDINBURG, Texas -- It was an important Student Government Association meeting tonight at UTRGV

Talks of expanding UTRGV sports is one step closer.

College football, women's swimming and diving, and marching bands might soon come to the valley.

"It's an opportunity to dream big, to think forward, to think about UTRGV not just in 2024 or 2025, in 2030, 40, 50. It's a legacy moment for our institution," said UTRGV Director of Athletics Chasse Conque.

SGA, the official representation of the UTRGV student body, decided unanimously to move forward with a student body vote coming later this fall.

That vote asking students to pay an $11.25 athletic fee per credit hour starting in 2022.

That fee helps pay for the multiple division one sport expansions.

SGA Vice President for Brownsville Yahia Al-Qudah said, "We want the student to have the ability to vote and the ability to decide their future. Something as big as this, something that will impact UTRGV for generations to come, it has to be through the students."

For the sake of objectivity and remaining unbiased, Al-Qudah added, "We are not here to take the vote from anyone. We are just here to facilitate the process.

Dr. Maggie Hinojosa, Senior Vice President at UTRGV appreciates the work and responsibility SGA has contributed throughout this process.

"I think they've done an excellent job and so credit to this group for doing everything that they possibly can to ensure the student comes first," said Hinojosa.

Women's swim and diving would debut in 2024. Football and marching band the year after. It'll be a great atmosphere on Saturdays, but for Conque, it's rallying the valley in more ways than one.

"This is bigger than sports. The proposal that we've put together, nearly 500 new student opportunities with only about a 150 or 160 of those coming from athletics. It's very inclusive in the way we approach this proposal because the big thing in all this is student life and campus experience. Driving retention, graduation, that sense of place so the more we can offer for our campus, that's where I get excited," said Conque.

The student body referendum will take place between November 8th-10th.


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