NDSU Presents Fee Raise Proposal for New Esports Lab

Tuesday, Jan. 26, the NDSU student government sent out an email to inform the student population of a proposal for a possible fee raise. The contributions of this proposed fee raise would go towards NDSU’s newly renovated esports lab located in room 316 of Ladd Hall. 

Highlights of the esports lab are outlined as 36 computers with room for growth, a teaching station with an overhead projector, 2 console game carts including an Xbox Series X, PS5, and Nintendo Switch, shoutcasting room, wall monitors, and a conference table. The esports lab will be open 6 days a week with varying hours Monday through Saturday. 

The fee proposed is $0.75 per credit, capped at $9 per student, to attempt to generate a $190,000 annual esports operating budget. This amount has been split into four categories of operating expenses: full time staff wages and benefits, student staff wages, annual computer and equipment repair and replacement, and miscellaneous expenses. In the first year of operation, the goal of the budget will be to purchase an additional 12 computers, totaling in 48 machines. After the initial purchase of computers, the budget will be used to keep all technology in the lab current and operating correctly. In addition, one gaming console replacement will be accounted for in the budget annually. 

This proposal will cover staffing features such as administrative oversight, supporting community engagement efforts, and hosting esports clubs and intramural events. Fee contributions towards the student staff will go to assisting in computer check-ins, assisting with equipment check-in/out, and assistance for questions and minor tech support. Additionally, 25% of the labs computers are budgeted for replacement annually.  

Not only will this space be used for recreational gaming for students and student organizations, gaming tournaments, and social events for the esports clubs, this space will also be utilized for two hours a week to host the newly available HNES esports 167 class. Students enrolled in this class will explore many different types of esports games, learning the rules and social etiquette of each game. Students will be able to not only compete against classmates but against people all over the world. 

Following the open forum discussing the fee proposal, a student survey was sent out to collect the opinions of students on certain topics pertaining to the esports lab such as adjusted lab hours, Friday night features, learn-to-play nights, intramurals and more

In the written fee proposal, some desired outcomes outlined were to provide students with an opportunity to schedule a time or walk-in for use of the lab. “This funding request will allow even more students to make connections and collaborate with their peers,” the written proposal states. 

The newly renovated NDSU esports lab will host an official grand opening on Tuesday, February 15th from 4pm-7pm with the ribbon cutting and remarks taking place at 4:30pm. NDSU student government is looking for feedback on the operation and fees of the new lab, which is said to affect how the lab will be conducted in the end. 

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