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Photos: Protest of ASU’s Athletic Priorities Held Hours Before Thursday Night Game

A couple hundred students plus some faculty members showed up to the protest in front of Kidd Brewer Stadium. Photos by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

Several hours before the football game between the App State Mountaineers and Georgia Southern Eagles, more than 200 students and faculty members gathered near Kidd Brewer Stadium to protest the priority of athletics, particularly football, on the college campus.

“We must act now to keep Appalachian State University an institution that serves its students and employees, and not allow it to become a corporate entity that treats its students as customers and employees as dispensable and unvalued labor,” Rachel Clay, an ASU student and co-organizer of the protest along with fellow-student Mary Lyons, said in a release prior to the game. “The university needs to allocate funds in a way that benefits the campus community. The loss of student, staff, and faculty parking to accommodate the needs of tailgaters speaks to the larger issue of Appalachian State’s deteriorating prioritization of both students’ education and ethical treatment of faculty and staff.”

Because of the football game happening on a school day and the need to reserve spaces for tailgaters and donors of the Yosef Club, which is the fundraising arm of App State Athletics, faculty and students have limited parking options.

The released noted that this is what “students are really paying for:”

  • Since 2011, tuition has increased by 32.4 percent while the salary of the head football coach has increased 91.98 percent.
  • Between 2011 and 2015 five university departments had an average faculty salary that decreased.
  • Academic spending per full time student decreased 5 percent while spending per athlete increased by 30 percent.
  • Between 1987 and 2011 the number of full-time administrators rose by 318.8 percent while enrollment increased by only 70.6 percent.
  • In 2014 the average salary of employees with “chancellor” or “provost” in their title was $148,659.14
  • Between 2010 and 2014, full-time non-tenure track faculty increased 31.8 percent, while tenured or tenure-track faculty increased 0.5 percent

See photos of the protest below: