Diddle is paid for – or so we thought?

If you go to a soda machine and drop your change in, you get a nice, cold, carbonated beverage in return.

But never do you have to worry about dropping in an extra quarter to pay for it later.

But in a sense, that’s what’s happening with the new fee that will be charged to campus groups and academic departments who want to use the newly renovated Diddle Arena.

Students have already coughed up money to pay for Diddle. Now they might be forced to pay more.

And Diddle won’t come cheap – it’s far more than a few extra quarters. The price tag is $500 per use, plus expenses.

Academic departments and campus groups that have used Diddle for free in the past loathe the idea. In our opinion, their discontent is for good reason.

Here’s why.

Those in favor of the fee say that it isn’t anything that any other university of comparable size doesn’t already do. They also say they aren’t trying to make money off campus groups and are only trying to cover expenses. The problem is that these groups, which are mainly made up of students, have already given money to cover Diddle expenses. A few years ago, the Board of Regents passed a resolution increasing the athletics fees. The original plan was for the money to repay the $32 million bonds.

How can students and academic departments be asked to scrape together more money now? What’s next, a charge from the library for going to Java City? If you start doing this for Diddle, will the next move be to start charging for the prime venues on campus as well?

We’ve got one of the Golden Girls coming to campus in the coming weeks. Imagine the scenario if this fee were already in place. Would we have to tell her that she’ll have to speak in the Schneider Hall lobby, because the group bringing her to campus might not be able to afford to pay the building fee to host her?

Nobody would want to see that kind of thing happen in the future. Likewise, nobody likes this fee. It’s shady business. We paid for this beverage. Let us enjoy it.

In tough economic times it is easy to look for a quick way to pay off debts. We think most everybody wanted an improved Diddle Arena and was willing to pay for it. But we thought we only had to pay for it once.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.