Survey reveals OCR support

By Jayna Ronayne

A survey conducted at NIU revealed many students are in favor of expanding the Office of Campus Recreation—even if it means higher student fees.

Last semester, the Student Association’s special projects fund allowed a random telephone survey to be conducted by the Institutional Research and Development Office and the NIU American Marketing Association.

SA Recreation Adviser Jodie English said the purpose of the survey was to gather student input for the development of a five-year plan to improve recreation services.

Of the 500 students called, 66 percent said they would agree to an additional charge of student fees in order to expand the Recreation Center.

English said she thought adding to the rec center was not realistic because of budget constraints. But she reacted favorably to students’ responses because the SA now can be prepared when financial conditions improve.

“Whether the money’s there or not, the word ‘expansion’ is a bad word right now,” she said.

English also said the SA feels it wouldn’t be fair to students to add a second building right now, especially with all the class cutbacks.

“We’re showing that we’re waiting so administrators can see they should wait, too,” English said. “Education should come first.”

A swimming pool, weight room expansion and several more basketball courts might be included in the additional recreation space, she said.

The eventual expansion “would come in the form of an addition on the existing building or possibly a new facility to be located in the Greek Row area, English said.

“Now that we know the results, we can lay the groundwork so we’ll be ready when the money eventually is available,” she said.

English said it will be at least a minimum of five years before the ideas could be acted upon.

“Any building takes four years to get off the ground,” she said.

Campus Recreation Director Juliette Moore said she appreciated the SA doing the survey.

“The survey gives us a perspective of the needs of the students,” she said.

Moore also said the number of students using the rec center increased last year and this past semester.

Moore agreed with English about the budget prohibiting the possibility of expansion. “At this point, it’s just not realistic for us to look at,” she said.