SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A victory Wednesday for UC Santa Cruz athletics.
Students at the university have voted in favor of paying a fee each quarter that will bring close to $1.1 million to the NCAA program.
Though the ceremony announcing the win was fairly simple, the journey to getting there had challenges.
"Had it not passed, we would have had to eliminate an NCAA program and that has not happened on a college campus in 20 years," said Andrea Willer, executive director of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports.
Willer says just like the sports programs she oversees, the months of work it took to get this win was a team effort from staff and students.
"I felt like I was holding the whole program in my hand" said Kayla McCord, co-President of the Student Athletic Council.
McCord was the one to open the envelope with the results of the vote. She is also one of many students that worked to spread the word.
"We had to get real creative because we've tried to do this before and it hasn't worked," McCord said. "This is the first time it's going to stick. I think that we kind of knew that this was our last chance, like three strikes you're out. This is game time and everyone really stepped up."
But it wasn't just students in the athletic programs that helped make it happen.
Paul Simpson played basketball at UC Santa Cruz more than 15 years ago. He helped come up with a new business model that will hopefully sustain the program.
"To be able to deliver this result for them, to see what their hard work can bring was just an amazing thing to see," Simpson said. "You could feel the energy in the room. It brought me back to being a student again."
A two-thirds vote was required to pass and 79 percent voted yes. Students will each now pay an extra fee of $38.50 in the fall quarter.