TCU Daily Skiff Masthead
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Wednesday, December 4, 2002
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Staff to submit resolution against Rec. Center fee
By Amy Johnson
Staff Reporter

Some staff disapprove of the new fee they will have to pay to use the University Recreation Center, which will open next semester.

Staff Assembly members voted Tuesday to advance a resolution against the $5 a month University Recreation Center fee for faculty and staff to administration, with the notation that the vote was a tie.

The resolution states that members object to the removal of a documented benefit of employment and urges the administration to reconsider the usage fee for university employees, said Josh Harmon, senior server administrator for Information Services.

“I disagree with the fee because it is taking away a benefit to the faculty and staff that previously existed,” he said. “When people sign on to work at the university, they typically do so understanding certain benefits exist and will be there year to year.”

Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said there are no free benefits and that he thinks everyone who uses the $30 million facility should help pay for it.

“We do want it to be a benefit,” he said. “This is a significant discount and still is a benefit of employment.”

Chancellor Michael Ferrari said it’s unfair for students to carry the full financial burden for the facility.

“The charge to non-students is very low compared with fitness center charges in the area for far less facilities and services,” he said. “Frankly, I am surprised that some staff do not think they should contribute to the operating costs of this new facility. The real issue is fairness.”

Faculty members who use the facility will also have to pay the $5 monthly fee. The university fees all students pay has already been increased to help pay for the center, Mills said.

But some staff didn’t buy it.

“Not one individual in my unit was in favor of paying anything,” said Joe Laster, the director of Facility Services. “Some found it very offensive.”

Steve Kintigh, director of campus recreation, said the recreation center planning committee researched fees charged by several comparable universities.

“Most schools we consider our competitors charge between $100 to $400 a year,” he said.

Harmon said his biggest fear is that more increases will follow.

“I see this decision as one that will have long term consequences,” he said. “Once this fee is entered into the budget as a revenue item it will never trend downward and in all likelihood will be increased to address budget shortfalls in the future.”



TCU Daily Skiff © 2003

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