UC San Diego Students Approve Move To Division I
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
After similar proposals failed in 2004 and 2012, UC San Diego students passed a referendum to move to NCAA Division I.
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.
"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.
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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