Monday, November 5, 2007

Does mandatory health insurance make sense for college students?

Utah State University's student government will ask the Board of Regents to make health insurance mandatory for students enrolled in any of the state's public colleges and universities.

Salt Lake Tribune - USU student group to approach Regents over insurance

For years BYU has required all of its students to either be enrolled under their parent's policy or pay for campus health insurance.

But how could UVSC possibly afford to offer low-cost health insurance to its nearly 24000 students? How about dumping athletics?


h2oetry said...

But we are such an athletic driven* institution with plenty of tradition*...


Vegor said...

Don't know if you were in the upstairs cafeteria at lunch today, but there was a raucous pep rally up there that let everyone know just how important UVSC's Athletic traditions were. And to get students and faculty pumped up for the BIG GAME tonight against our arch-rivals: the Westminster Griffins!

I am certain it had nothing to do with NCAA being on campus today.

And while the vast majority of diners in the cafeteria looked annoyed (or at best indifferent) we know that down deep they are really proud of their Wolverines, and will gladly surrender a huge chunk of their student fees to prop up this failing program.

rocky-newton said...

That sounds like a comment from someone his is still bitter from getting cut from his high school basketball team! Have some pride and realize what athletics has done and is doing! Join the band wagon or get left behind my friend.

Vegor said...

I bet I have more pride in this school than most. But my pride has little to do with the athletics program.

A dean told me the other day that the NCAA was very impressed with UVSC when they visited earlier this week. This is great news...we have a fine campus, and we deserve any praise we get.

But all the praise in the world doesn't get us any closer to being picked up by a conference. What happens when our provisional status runs out and we still are independent? Can our program survive without the funding a conference would provide? No travel partners, no rivals, no chance at post-season championships.

Rocky-Newton, your rhetoric sounds a lot like a recent letter to the College Times, in which detractors of the Athletics program were told to "Get on the bus, or get run over by it."

This is just so ignorant. People at UVSC who either hate the fact that so much money goes to the program, or are completely indifferent to college sports, outnumber the hardcore fans by a large margin. To dismiss these legitimate concerns by implying that we are "still bitter from getting cut from his high school basketball team" is just ridiculous.

Peety said...

I write in response to the comments written by Vegor about the need to drop athletics in order to fund health care issues on campus. In a recent issue of USA Today, a somewhat recognizable newspaper, a preview of college basketball was given. In a full article on page 55 is found the emphatic title, "Utah Valley State finds way to thrive with nomadic status." Continuing on, "it is possible to succeed as an independent." Please do not think that the efforts of Utah Valley State Athletics are going unnoticed, even on a national scale.
Furthermore, there are some things that you do not know. Did you know that when our time runs out of being a provisional and we pass, that we will be eligible for NCAA affiliated tournaments in all sports? Did you know that funding for UVSC does not completely come from a conference? How do you think we have been "surviving" for the past six years not in a conference. But yes, being in a conference will help greatly.
Keep in mind that that we have been Division 1 for six years. Six years! Other schools in this state have been members for decades. People expect us to be comparable to other schools in this state and other states when we are only six years into the process.
Yes it is true that the NCAA was recently here and was very impressed with the success that has been accomplished here on campus with athletics. And yes, a pep rally was held by our own student government who we voted to be our representatives. Can you blame them? Can you find fault with them for trying to promote something that they believe in, which is a little bit of support for something that will greatly benefit the school? Vegor says that all the praise in the world doesn't get us any closer to being in a conference. It doesn't? Please tell me what will get us closer to being in a conference then. Because clearly when the governing body for college athletics gives us a passing grade, that isn't going to help us be a member of their association.
Just because a UVSC student may hate the fact that they have to pay "so much money" for the athletic program does not mean that they can demand athletics be taken away. I support athletics and have no problem at all paying the money that is required. And i'll tell you what is ignorant, the fact that someone believes that our athletic program is failing.

Vegor said...


Actually I did know that we would be eligible for post-season tournaments...But who would invite a non-conference team? I suppose it is possible, just not very probable. Ranked schools don't want to play non-conference schools for fear of upsets (Notre Dame is the notable exception). We would always have a schedule full of far-flung, transitional teams. No one will want to take a chance on us.

And just because we are able to meet the monetary demands of the program now doesn't mean we can (or should) in the future. Without conference affiliation the program will continue to hemmorrhage money, prompting athletics to continue going back to the student-fee well.

Perhaps my biggest issue with athletics is the hubris of athletic director Mike Jacobsen. It was a foolhardy move to jump from Junior College to Division I. There is a reason why no one has tried it before. The transition to Div. II would have been much easier.

I don't really have a problem with student government's attempts to engender fan enthusiasm. I think they are trying to make the most of a bad situation. But I also think that they should hold Athletics more responsible for the mistakes that have been made.

I particularly take issue with this statement:

Just because a UVSC student may hate the fact that they have to pay "so much money" for the athletic program does not mean that they can demand athletics be taken away.

Actually, in America we have the right to complain when we don't like a policy. I can demand anything I like...I might not get want I want...but I can sure speak out about it.

Don't worry Petey...Athletics isn't going anywhere. This school, and particularly this administration, is too heavily invested to pull out anytime soon. I am sure the Wolverines will be around for a long time...but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

As for your final comment, about me being ignorant of Athletics' successes...I suppose I have a different definition of success. The program isn't close to being self-sufficient (of course very few NCAA programs are), They have anemic fan support, and a conference-less future looms. It looks like a dark road from where I am standing.

Anonymous said...

Vegor, what do you mean that we haven't had success. Success? teams not wanting to play UV? because they are afraid of upsets? lets see... UVSC beat Arizona state in baseball 9-6 in 2005. they now want to play us every year. Hawii is paying UV to come to their House for our baseball team to play them. how about our basketball team having the best record of an Independant in 20 years? or The Volleyball's 3 Independant championships? let me guess... you must not go to these events. I bet you just have never worked as hard as our athletes for anything. you are an Ignorant SOB

Vegor said...

I am sure student athletes work very hard for their successes. I am well aware of their accomplishments... having covered UVSC news for the past 5 years.

But I don't gauge success by the win-loss column... I look for positive effects amongst our campus community. Are we getting bang for our buck? I don't think so.

Now take a look at the UVSC club Hockey team. They get tons of fans at their games, and it is all done without raising student fees or employing a legion of administrators. That is a lean, mean sports team and it should be the model for athletics is done at UVSC.

I would also bring up the the example of when Ricks College transitioned to BYU-Idaho. They decided to jettison their traditional athletics program, and took the money that was normally spent there and put into intramurals. Within a few years they had one of the best intramural programs in the country. Instead of athletics just being available to a few it was open to all, with a diverse menu of sports and competitions. It has engendered more school spirit and a greater sense of campus culture than all their years in the traditional athletics model.

And "Anonymous" is the name calling really called for...I am simply disagreeing with the pro-sports position.