Students unhappy with intramural spending
March 4, 2009 9:38 PM
The gym floor that houses the SF State intramural program glistens like a well-oiled mirror. What was once a soccer ball faded by the smashing of a million feet, now exudes fine stitching and true color. The nets that wrap the goals are free of holes at last.
Despite being cut out of the state provided General Fund Revenue in 2004, the campus recreation department has proven its resilience over the years by employing new strategies to generate funding. This requires more funding from students for expansion.
But some SF State students are critical of the programs spending, claiming the program is wasting money on management when it should be going directly to the program.
"Fee increase after fee increase, and students aren't in control of how it's being spent," said Trent Downes, a business major at SF State.
The criticism came when sport and fitness coordinators Ryan Fetzer and Marc Barrie joined the program's staff in November, within months of imposing the fee increase.
Drew Loftus, 22, has been playing intramural soccer since he moved to San Francisco in 2005. He feels the money should be spent on sports equipment and programs. "I thought I'd see a lot more for my money," said Loftus, a business major at SF State.
The campus recreation director, Ajani Byrd, says without proper staffing the campus recreation cannot grow.
"Ryan Fetzer and Marc Barrie were allowed to come on board to actually legitimize the program," Byrd said, chuckling. "And because prior to that it was just me."
In 2004, the Student Fee Advisory Committee prosed a student fee referendum which established a $1 a student per semester followed by a $2 increase through 2007/08. The referendum mandated a $7 increase in July 2008, totaling this semesters costs at $9 a student per semester.
More than 2,000 student signatures were gathered in under two weeks as a testament to the overwhelming number of students utilizing recreational programs.
"The $9 doesn't just go to intramural sports," Byrd clarified. "It goes to recreation sports: intramurals, sport clubs, fitness and wellness and aquatics and, of course, to pay the professionals and students that are working underneath the department."
Student funding goes into the program's fund which is then allocated to respective actives upon student demands, according to Byrd.
"It just depends on how the program evolves we want to accommodate as many students as possible, that is our number one goal," said the newly-appointed intramural and club coordinator, Ryan Fetzer. "We want to create that buzz around campus."
The department has recently added 10 new fitness classes ranging from yoga to weightlifting and shows no signs of halting expansion.
Due to incessant usage of the gym by kinesiology classes, academics, and the athletics department, the campus recreation has little room, and time, to work with.
"We would have more time to do additional sports or activities if we had a dedicated [recreation] center," said an excited Byrd. "And that is something that will be coming up next month."
The proposed site for a campus recreation center is located near the intersection of Winston and Lake Merced. Byrd stated student fee increases are necessary, but will be implemented gradually until the completion of the project.
As CSU faces escalating economic pressure, SF State has increasingly turned to students to foot the bill for many university services such as the Student Health Center, Career Center, and the Campus Recreation Department.
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