1:07pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Education

CSU Polls Students on Proposed Stadium

This week Colorado State University officials are ramping up efforts to gather student opinion on a proposed on-campus stadium.

CSU hosted four student forums today, which were structured similarly to the 10 off-campus forums hosted by CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation in February and early March.

 “The natural human process is when you have an opinion you seek out evidence of that opinion, and avoid challenging that opinion. This way it puts all the arguments in one place and helps them think through that,” says Director Martin Carcasson of CPD.

The forums lasted one hour and purposely seated students both opposed and in favor of the on-campus stadium at the same table.

“We haven’t had a lot of students go through the [forum] process,”  says Carcasson. “This helps them think about both sides of the issue and talk through them."

After identifying five sites for consideration, the Stadium Advisory Committee has narrowed the choices down to two—both of which are on the southwest side of campus. The stadium would be privately funded and have between 40,000 and 50,000 seats.

So far the Associated Students of Colorado State University, which represents the roughly 28,000 students on campus, has not taken a stance on the issue. President Eric Berlinberg says his organization has focused more on understanding the issues students care about.

“I haven’t seen as much dialog or conversation about this since concealed carry,” he says. “It’s interesting to see what people get excited about frustrated about."

Chief among the concerns are whether an on campus stadium—and tailgating—would create more noise, increase traffic, and how it would change on-campus community.

Right now student opinion seems to be split in half, with students like freshman Asia Upchurch advocating against it.

“[Hughes] was just renovated in 2006, and a bunch of money was put into it,” she says. “So why do we need a brand new stadium on campus?”

Meantime, sophomore Tim Mowry says he’s in favor of the idea. But, he says he would attach a few conditions to the proposal.

 “I think it would be a good idea to put a rule on it, have 3-4 winning seasons before we build it, then that would put the pressure on the football team to play better, maybe motivate them,” he says. “That would be good.”

With finals starting next Monday, the Stadium Advisory Committee is expected to make a recommendation to President Tony Frank in the coming weeks. Berlinberg, who sits on the 15-member committee, says it’s an exciting time, but he doesn’t envy the decision that Dr. Frank has to make.

“It could be a huge defining moment about what the university could be in the future, what it looks like in the future,” he says.

President Frank has said he won’t make a decision until students are back on campus this fall.