Our View – Renting space at recreation center not a bad idea

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center gives Cal State Long Beach a new look. No longer is it rare to see people gathered on the eastern side of campus — instead of the normal spots around the Student Union or the bookstore. Student attire has also changed from casual “beachy” clothes to sporty workout ones. 

It is safe to say that we have opted for a pair of ASICS running shoes over the normal pair of Rainbow flip-flops, footwear that students at The Beach used to swear by. We also believe that although we don’t have the best four-year graduation rates, as the Daily 49er reported last week, CSULB may pretty soon have the highest percentage of students with a six-pack. Does U.S. News and World Report have a category for that?

However, all these changes force us to ask one question. How long will this newfound lifestyle for students last? Hopefully, as long as CSULB is around. 

The price to use the recreation center is already included in student fees. This makes using the recreation center feel like it’s free. So, why wouldn’t students continue to use the facility? It might be because beginning Oct. 1 that the recreation center will rent out space to “associates, affiliates and outside entities,” according to the Associated Student, Inc’s website. 

At first we were a little worried that students wouldn’t be able to burn as much calories as they would if space were available to them at all times. We were also worried that students would be paying for something they couldn’t use. But we realized that this may actually be a good idea for ASI to implement. 

Only the basketball courts, audio/visual rooms, group fitness rooms, pool deck, spa and outdoor volleyball court will be available for rent. In a big facility like the recreation center this isn’t as much as it sounds.

Anyways, shouldn’t these facilities be available for reservations in the first place? They won’t be occupied 100 percent of time. Why not proft from the vacancy? 

We understand where a lot of the criticism is coming from, but we realize, just as ASI does, that our university is weathering a budget crisis.

The size of the groups renting out space and the amount of time they are allowed to hold it, for example, would factor into the merit of the idea. The Student Welness and Recreation Center, after all, is the students’ recreation center. An extreme example of unfairness would involve two people renting out an area for an entire evening or a large area being rented for even a short period of time.

So how can we produce a student recreation center in a time of economic crisis?

A student committee, independent of ASI, should be involved in decisions relating to the recreation center.

The prices for renting should be a huge consideration. We’re not just saying this because we are students, but student groups and organizations should be given a discounted price in comparison to outside entities. 

All in all, ASI renting out space in the recreation center shouldn’t be a huge problem for the students using it unless they start renting out machines, weights or lanes on the track. In fact, it might encourage people to use the facility more often. Supply and demand, right? And, of course, encouraging healthy behavior is something we can all applaud. 

The recreation center will improve the quality of life for CSULB students so let’s keep it for the students. We’re sure no one would disagree.

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