Rec center fees unfair to students

By Editorial Board


The benefits given to students at the Recreation Center, compared to non-student members, are not acceptable.

Non-student members, such as faculty, retirees, community members and dependents, can purchase the Fitwell Membership for an annual cost of $120, which includes access to various indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, fitness classes and personal training sessions, according to NIU’s official website.

Fitwell members also receive access to facilities at Anderson Hall, while students only have access to its amenities by taking any Kinesiology-Physical Education course.

Students have also never had access to the Anderson pool, while community members receive full-time use through the Fitwell membership.

Meanwhile, every NIU student, regardless if they use the facility or not, is charged $8.03 per credit hour and often have to pay additional fees to get involved in campus recreation activities.

The last thing students need is to spend money for reasons that are not justified, and that’s what is currently happening.

Intramural leagues, such as basketball, floor hockey and flag football, charge $70 per team for a league that runs about a month long.

Laura Kucik, assistant director of Competitive Sports at the Recreation Center, said intramural sports have seen a slight decrease in participation over the last few years but supports the fees of participation.

“I think team fees are fair,” Kucik said. “Intramurals are a great way to stay active, meet new people and play the sports you love to play.”

While Fitwell members enjoy benefits such as fitness classes and personal training sessions, a standard full-time student enrolled in 12 credit hours pays $96.36 just to be allowed entry into only the Recreation Center and $32 for each personal training session, according to the Fiscal Year 2018 Tuition, Fee, Room and Board Recommendation from Alan Phillips, former vice president for Administration and Finance.

Senior accounting major Christopher Neal currently participates in intramural basketball and said he does not agree with being charged a team fee for minimal benefits.

“We could just play a pick-up game if we wanted to, and now we have to pay an extra $70 basically to just get an [official] for the game,” said Neal.

Giving students more free opportunities at the Recreation Center, such as intramurals, would go far in evening out the benefits of students and non-student members.

The $96.36 may not seem like a lot on a tuition bill, but students should at least reap the benefits paying this fee. Students deserve the same treatment as anyone else who uses the facility.