USG talks Recreation Center

By Luke Nozicka

The Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday night covered the state of the student Recreation Center, USG budget and new allocations given.

It began with news of extended hours and an annual economic update of the Recreation Center by Troy Vaughn, director of recreational sports and services.

Vaughn said the Rec Center will be open until midnight in Fall 2014, and with extra money could look to extend hours until 1 a.m.

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This is the second year the Rec Center has not asked for a fee increase from the students and currently has more programs than ever before.

More than 625,000 people come to the Rec Center each year, with 700 community members and 40 sport clubs, 30 of which are competitive. Recreational Sports and Services is the number-two student employer on campus with 250 student employees, generating an annual $720,000 back to the university.

Vaughn said the LED lighting in the Rec Center will save approximately $50,000 to $150,000 a year.

The HVAC and Energy Conservation project, approved by the Board of Trustees Sept. 8, 2011 costs $5 million.

Seventeen new pieces for different weight rooms have been purchased over the last year. Vaughn said there is a push to get new treadmills in the Recreational Center as well.

“The average treadmill costs about ten grand,” he said. “These are hardcore treds that will put on a million, two million, three million miles on it.”

Other improvements include the new climbing wall and revamping of golf courses. Vaughn said while there are many positives, the Recreation Center predicts future challenges.

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“What we’re facing, as everyone on campus, some pretty significant challenges past 2015, and ’16 and ’17 are looking a little iffy at this moment,” he said. “While we want to try our hardest to hold the line on asking to increase student fees, I can’t honestly tell you we’ll be quiet when it comes to 2016.”

Vaughn said another challenge is operating in a building built in the 1970’s. He said rooms are fragmented and there is not enough space for all activities.

“We’re hurting for space,” he said. “I’m not up here asking for a new building, please understand that.”

The university will finally pay off the building in 2018.

“Believe me, as you would pay off a mortgage or you would pay off a car – you’d go hip-hip hooray,” Vaughn said.

He said at this point there is no discussion to expand the weight room in Lentz.

Treasurer Cameron Shulak, a junior from Louisville, Ky., studying aviation, said USG has allocated more than $37,600 this semester alone, with more than $26,300 left.

“We actually have more money to allocate this semester than last semester due to some roll overs from last semester that we didn’t allocate,” Shulak said. “We’ve funded a lot of groups this year.”

USG also voted in four new senators during the meeting, three of which were sworn in on the spot. The other senator will be sworn in by signing a contract because of religious reasons, President Adrian Miller said.

The Horticulture Association requested $1,500 for the annual PLANET student career days and was approved by the Senate.

USG also passed a $500 request by Movie Camera Militia. $200 was allocated for props, $200 for equipment rental and $100 for makeup.

The original request was $800, the excessive $300 for food. Shulak said the funding board did not recommend allocation for food because they did not view it as a responsible way to spend student money.

MCM representatives said they cannot fundraise through their end of the year red carpet event anymore.

“The other fundraising event we were doing was with the Daily Egyptian, who we were actually stuffing for their paper but they had actually stopped that, so we no longer will be able to use that as a fundraising event,” MCM representative said.

Shulak said the last time USG allocated food was not under his time as treasurer, and is something USG does not like to fund.

USG allocated Delta Sigma Theta $83 for coffee supplies and $1,325 for an upcoming charity ball. The National Society of Black Engineers was allocated $2,000 for a career fair.

The Student Nutrition Academic Council bill was postponed indefinitely and was not allocated for the requested $1,235.

Luke Nozicka can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @lukenozicka, or 536-3311 ext. 282.

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