May 012005
Authors: Joanna Thomas

In an effort to increase productivity and revenue, Campus Recreation is looking to extend membership opportunities to CSU faculty and staff.

Associated Students of CSU senators passed a bill proposing the membership extension to CSU faculty Wednesday night.

Darcy McNew, an ASCSU senator for the College of Applied Human Sciences, said the senate endorsed employee membership with 18 votes in favor, three votes in opposition and two abstentions.

McNew said before the bill is enacted it must be passed by Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Kuk, President Larry Penley and the Board of Governors of the CSU System.

"My understanding is that the higher-up individuals are in support with staff and faculty," McNew said.

McNew said she was not one of the senators who voted for the bill. She said she felt the bill was putting the health and exercise science majors at risk of losing adult clients they use for their practicum program.

Judy Muenchow, director of Campus Recreation, said the idea of looking into having employee membership started three years ago, but the Student Recreation Center staff wanted to hear student perspectives before deciding.

"(Campus Recreation) is here to serve students and if the students don't want it, then we will move on," Muenchow said.

She said a trend survey in 2002, 2003 and 2004 asked students their opinion about faculty and staff membership. Students were also surveyed in a recreation center survey in spring 2004 and fall 2004. Additionally student focus groups met and discussed the possibility.

"The students largely, about 70 to 75 percent, were generally in favor, especially since it would help offset operating costs," Muenchow said.

With the increase of revenue the membership passes would bring, Muenchow said the recreation center will bring immediate benefits such as expanded recreation center hours, customer service desk open during all hours of recreation center operations, double the number of cardio pieces, additional group fitness and mind/body classes, and the ability to hold student-fee increases to a minimum while still being able to fund the proposed addition to build a larger facility.

Muenchow said these are just the tangible benefits from this plan, and the bill will also bring health components to the campus.

"Health benefits are a part of our mission; to provide wellness opportunities to our campus that promote a sense of community," Muenchow said.

She said by extending passes to faculty it would also allow students an opportunity to see faculty in a new light and provide them with a social interaction.

But that is exactly one reason this bill is facing opposition from students.

"People I have talked to don't want to be working out next to their professors or see them in the changing room," said Brian Hardouin, a member of the Student Fee Review Board and the director of RamRide.

Hardouin, who wrote the bill for ASCSU, feels that more research needs to be done. He said he does not feel the recreation center has done enough to know what students want. He also said not enough research had been done to know what students want to do with their student-fee money.

Maria Bennett, director of legislative affairs at ASCSU, works at the recreation center and said the bill is a practical reality that is necessary.

She said the bill brings added benefits that students really need and an alternative to raising student fees.

Bennett said students pay about $79 in student fees for entry to the recreation center, and a faculty pass would be more, so students would not be subsidizing the cost.

"CSU is one of the few schools that doesn't allow faculty to use the recreation center," Bennett said.

She said some of the machines are starting to show their wear and tear, and the new bill will allow them to be replaced.

"I truly believe that this plan benefits both students and employees. It's a win-win for everybody," Muenchow said.

These were the benefits that were in the e-mail Judy Muenchow sent to me. You could include it in a break-out box, maybe. I know there will already be a campus voice so that might be overdoing it, but I wanted to be able to include all the benefits and didn't know how to work it into my story.

Expanded Student Rec Center hours of operation beginning Fall 2005: 6am – 11:30pm Monday – Friday; 8am – 8pm Saturday; Noon – 11:30pm Sunday; 6am – 8pm weekdays during University Breaks & Summer Session; 12 hours on 1 weekend day during summer session (TBD).

* Customer Service Desk open all hours of Student Rec Center operations to process registrations, IM sign-ups, memberships, etc. beginning Fall 2005

* Expanded cardio / weight areas with double the number of cardio pieces beginning Fall 2005

* Additional group fitness and mind/body classes added to existing schedule with more variable times during the day beginning Fall 2005

* Addition of group fitness and mind/body classes added to weekend schedule beginning Fall 2005

* Ability to interact / socialize with faculty and staff in an informal environment beginning Fall 2005

* Ability to hold student fee increases to a minimum annually with additional revenue stream from employee memberships

* Ability to increase funding for proposed addition to build a larger facility and include morel amenities with the revenue stream from employee memberships

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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