Missouri State University students passed a student fee of $50 per semester, known as the Bear Experience and Recreation (B.E.A.R.) Fee, to help provide new and renovated athletic and recreational facilities on the Springfield campus. The vote, which occurred online from Oct. 14-18, was 2,948 for, 726 opposed and 232 abstained.
“I am excited to see the changes that will be occurring around campus and can’t wait to see the impact that this will have on the university. This is a positive move for Missouri State University, and I think that this shows that students take pride in and have a bigger and bolder vision for our university,” said David Schneider, student body president.
The fee will generate approximately $1.6 million annually. Of that total, $200,000 annually will be used to “enhance the student experience” at athletic events through the creation of a student experience fund. The Office of Student Engagement will manage that fund.
The remaining $1.4 million will make the annual payments on approximately $20 million in bonds, which will allow construction of four projects:
- Construction of a new east side complex for student seating at Plaster Sports Complex
- A sand volleyball complex just southwest of Hammons Student Center
- A soccer, track and field complex north of Glass Hall
- A field hockey and lacrosse complex where the current softball field is located
All of the facilities will be available for student recreation, intramural and intercollegiate use.
“Students have taken an immense amount of pride in this initiative, and the excitement will only continue to grow. If you take the pride and excitement students currently have, carry that over to next year when the facilities are complete and the student experience fund is put to use, the result is going to be a drastic change in the culture at Missouri State,” said Matthaus Klute, director of university advancement for the Student Government Association.
Students will not pay the fee until the projects are completed. Construction on Plaster Sports Complex is planned to begin immediately following the end of the football season, with a completion date of fall 2014.