Recreation Center denies online-only enrolled students

By Matt Daray

 

Students taking only online classes for the summer will have to find a different place to exercise, or face a membership fee.

The Recreation Center does not allow students enrolled only in online classes access to the facility, much to the dismay of some students. The center’s policy to deny students has been in place since online classes started being offered. While the recreation center is firm in their stance, some students have varied opinions on the matter.

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Amber Bratsch, assistant director of facilities at the Recreation Center, said the reason online-only students are being denied is because their summer tuition doesn’t add in fees for using the facility that students enrolled in on-campus classes pay.

“Students who take online classes don’t pay the student Recreation Center fee, so that’s why they have to pay a membership here because they aren’t paying fees,” she said.

Bratsch said students can pay to receive a membership if they want to use the facilities.

The fee is $69 for students not enrolled in on-campus summer classes, according to the Recreation Center website.

The decision to officially add the fee to online student tuition in the future would be decided by the registrar’s office, Bratsch said.

According to the university’s online tuition calculator, the current cost for a student enrolled in three credit hours for the summer is $1,391.86 for on-campus students and $1,035.51 for online students, a difference of $356.35. These numbers include tuition and various fees.

Some students think denying online-only students the right to the Recreation Center is a murky subject.

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Rebecca McCarthy, a graduate student in English from Chicago, said the situation could be argued both ways.

She said the fees students pay go toward the facilities and services they use, and it’s understandable to deny access to students not paying those fees.

“I think it’s a sticky situation,” she said. “However, if someone is a student, (the center) is for the students. Especially if they are local students, sometimes that’s the only place they can go swimming or use exercise equipment.”

Other students think the difference between paying for on-campus summer classes and paying online tuition with the optional fee is fair.

Dominic Williams, a senior from Maywood studying business management, said while it’s unfortunate that students only enrolled in online summer classes have to pay a separate fee, it’s fair to everyone that they do.

“(Students) use the shuttles and buses and stuff. If you aren’t paying those fees then you can’t get on without paying a dollar,” he said. “(Students) are taking online classes for a reason and it’s to be off campus.”

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