By Joel Wass
Many students feel they have been left to pick up the cheque for the Recreation and Athletics Centre’s $50,000 summer spending spree.
According to RAC management the money was used to pay for renovations and new equipment. As a result student membership fees have been bulked-up to $25 a semester and $45 for the year — a significant hike from the previous fee of $10 for the year.
“I think it’s too much for membership fees to go up by $35,” says Brendan Edwards, a second year journalism student. “It seems like this school tried to get every last penny.”
Edwards says he is upset the RAC did not inform him last year about the potential for a fee raise.
“I understand when a student says every cent counts, but we had to add new equipment,” says sports and RAC program director David Dubois. “What good is it coming here when you don’t have the equipment to work out with?”
The RAC’s additions include a variety of new cardio and resistance training equipment, a set of rubber dumbbells and the creation of a larger cardio training room.
One squash court was eliminated to accommodate the larger cardio facility.
“The new equipment looks good, but I just come here to use the gym and play basketball,” says Edwards. “There’s a lot of people who only use the gym and I’m sure they’re not happy that they have to pay that much more.”
Staff at the RAC say students complaining about the higher fee should toughen up.
“The price now is great,” says Meagan Brown, a part time RAC staff member. “I mean if you think about going to any other gym this is very cheap compared to anything else.”
Students who have used the new equipment say there has been a noticeable improvement quality from the older equipment.
“We probably have none of the premier fitness facilities in the OUA,” says Dubois.
According to Dubois Ryerson also has one of the lowest athletic fees in the province at $52, which is added to everyone’s tuition.
“It’s a personal choice to come in here,” says Amanda O’Brien, a second year computer science student. “Considering tuition prices to go up instead. I think it’s great.”
Still some students have yet to be sold on the greatness of the new facilities.
“They had decent equipment last year,” says Edwards. “If they added only five or ten dollars to the fee they could still be making a huge profit.”