CSULB students should care about rec center

Now that students have returned from winter break, they have the chance to make a pretty big decision for the campus. This spring semester, on Feb. 27 and 28 to be exact, students will have the chance to vote on whether or not Cal State Long Beach will have a Student Recreation and Wellness Center. I am writing to encourage students to seek information regarding the proposed student rec center and more importantly, to encourage students to go out and vote.

For about the past 10 years, students at The Beach have been discussing the possibility of the student rec center. Associated Students Inc. (ASI), one of the main sources of student activities and services outside of the classroom, decided the issue was important enough to do some research on the subject. ASI held focus groups, interviews and even an online survey during 2005 to evaluate CSULB students’ thoughts and feelings about a Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The online survey, dubbed the “Campus Recreation Needs Assessment,” asked about CSULB students’ recreational needs. A link to the online survey was e-mailed and completed by about 8,000 students. That’s close to 22 percent of our entire student body. The survey results showed ASI that it was time to have students vote on whether or not they would like to have the student recreation center.

So you’re probably wondering what exactly students will be voting for or against in February. As it stands today, the proposed student recreation center would be a 125,000 square foot facility that will include a variety of recreational opportunities such as cardio and weight equipment, a rock climbing wall, basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, multi-purpose dance/group fitness rooms and a variety of other student-run programs and services.

The center would also include a wellness component that would offer students fitness classes, nutrition support, body fat testing and other wellness opportunities.

If students vote in favor of the center, there will be an increase of $110 per semester ($83 for summer students).

The fee would appear on your tuition statement as part of the University Student Union fee. That fee would not go into effect until the year the facility opens in the fall of 2010. All CSULB students would be permitted to use the facility without any additional charges.

Voting against the center would mean you simply do not want it.

As you can see, this vote will have a big impact on the campus for decades to come. It is your right as a student at this university to vote on issues that affect you, such as this one. I hope every student takes advantage of this right.

To help this process, ASI is going to give you as much information as possible about the issue. As your student voice, it is ASI’s responsibility to do this. And when it comes down to it, it will be the ASI’s job to oversee the center and continue to make sure the students’ needs are being met in the center, in addition to our other areas of responsibility such as the University Student Union, the Beach Pride Center, the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center and the AS Recycling Center.

There will be plenty more information about the proposed Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the upcoming vote available online at studentrecand-wellnesscenter.com.

As your peer and as an active student leader within ASI, I encourage every student to check out the Web site, ask questions and most importantly get ready to talk about rec. Then tell ASI what you want by going to the polls on Feb. 27 and 28.

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