New levy proposed for Campus Recreation

By Joelle Robichaud

Campus Recreation proposed a new levy to help upgrade its buildings. Seven dollars a semester may be added to tuition fees for students, and prices for public passes may increase.

“[The vote] from the Campus Recreation Committee was based on the student fees plus all the other membership fees, so they’ll go up at the same time,” explained Mark Eckert, Associate Director of Campus Recreation.

The Campus Recreation Committee is comprised of five undergraduate students and representatives from the Faculty of Kineseology, Graduate Students, faculty association and the Director of Campus Recreation.

Since the fees have not been updated in quite a while, inflation and the higher cost of machinery are just a couple of the many reasons for the increase. The buildings are also in need of an update, as they were built in, or before, 1987.

“The track up in Jack Simpson [gym] has never been resurfaced since we opened the building,” said Eckert. “And that’s okay, it’s not in bad shape if you compare it to some things in A Block.”

Eckert feels the Racquet Centre, pool, locker room, equipment room and red and gold gyms, which are all part of the A Block, need a facelift. This part of the fitness and lifestyle was built more than 10 years before the Olympics.

“There are things we are trying to target money towards, such as getting [the A Block] new and updated,” described Eckert. “There’s a plan for new cardio [equipment], and a cardio theatre.”

This is not the first attempt by Campus Recreation to increase their fees. In 2002, they proposed to add $26.25 per semester to their levy. Rob Stinson, the former Director of Campus Recreation, wished for a plebiscite to gain some student support. However, the Students’ Legislative Council rejected it.

This time around, SLC has yet to make a decision about the fees and are debating whether they should have a plebiscite.

“The SU hasn’t made any official stance on the fees. However, there has been student representation and SU representation on the Campus Recreation Student Advisory Board and that board unanimously endorsed the increased fee,” outlined SU President Bryan West.

West said the SU hasn’t decided whether or not to put the fee to a plebiscite yet, but feels the SU will accept the recommendation from the Student Advisory Board.

“Of all the fees we are dealing with this year, the Campus Rec fee is actually something that is justifiable in my mind,” said West. “They’re very reasonable. They waited to make sure they had student representation on the board first and they’ve got a solid business plan. It’s one of those things in the U of C that is actually good, our athletic facilities and what not.”

Since the fee at the U of C is one of the lowest in the country, West feels it’s very comparable to other institutions.

“There are tangible benefits coming out of it, like they’ve showed renovations they want to do, [such as] expanding the gym,” he continued. “So it is definitely easy to defend the fee increase very easily and I think that Campus Recreation has gone about it in an appropriate way by getting student input on it and trying to the best of their ability to find other ways of gaining funding”