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UC San Diego Students Approve Move To Division I

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Photo credit: Matt Hoffman

A group of students celebrate after UCSD students voted to move the school's athletics to NCAA Division I, May 24, 2016.

After similar proposals failed in 2004 and 2012, UC San Diego students passed a referendum to move to NCAA Division I.

Photo credit: Matt Bowler/KPBS

Former UC San Diego Associated Students President Dominic Suvannasupa gives his reaction to Tuesday's NCAA Division I announcement, May 24, 2016.

Students at UC San Diego approved a proposal to move their athletics to NCAA Division I on Tuesday.

Over 35 percent of students voted. UC San Diego Associated Students said 6,137 students voted to move to Division I, while 2,567 voted against the move.

Former Associated Students President Dominic Suvannasupa led the campaign that put the referendum to students.

"To hear the announcement, to hear the majority of students and how big that margin was, I was really excited," Suvonnasupa said. “I was excited to see that the students wanted to make the move in this direction.”

Director of Athletics Earl Edwards was at Tuesday’s announcement.

“It’s not just about athletics,” Edwards said. “It’s really about being an extension of this culture of excellence on our campus.”

Edwards said athletics should mirror academic excellence.

Photo credit: Matt Bowler/KPBS

UC San Diego Director of Athletics Earl Edwards discusses the NCAA Division I referendum outside of Roundtable Pizza where the announcement was made, May 24, 2016.

"Competing at the Division II level, you're not competing at the highest level or against like institutions,” Edwards said. “For me it's a natural evolution for the university as the university goes up in stature, athletics should be part of that as well."

Results of the spring referendum were announced Tuesday at Roundtable Pizza on UCSD's campus.

Voting ended Monday night after a glitch in UCSD's voting software postponed voting last week.

The referendum now heads to the faculty senate for review. If approved, UC San Diego will look for a bid from the Big West Conference — currently home to four other University of California schools.

A bid could come at anytime, and school officials asserted no fees will be collected from students until a bid is secured. Student athletic fees will increase by $480 a year, phased in over three years.

UC San Diego Proposed Athletic Fee Increase

Year One Year Two Year Three Total
Quarterly Increase $60 $55 $45 $160
Yearly Increase $180 $165 $135 $480

A table showing the quarterly and yearly breakdown of the proposed athletic fee increase. Note — one year is categorized at three quarters.

A football team will not be part of the transition to Division I.

Similar Division I proposals failed in 2004 and 2012, but student leaders wanted to give a new generation of students a chance to weigh-in.


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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