May 20, 2019

In shape for summer

For $25, Fresno State students and staff can take advantage of facilities at the Student Recreation Center. (From left) Students Ravy Heng, Ronnie Mares and Hung Le played basketball at the Rec Center courts on Sunday.
Juan Villa / The Collgian

Amid rising gas prices, budget cuts and tuition increases, the Student Recreation Center is looking to give students a break by offering an affordable way to continue their workouts.

For a one-time summer fee of $25, Fresno State students can have the same gym membership they’ve had all semester, and even participate in some brand new classes.

“We aren’t out to profit from memberships like regular gyms,” said Amy Allen, who works for the Student Recreation Center’s accounting office. “We have this facility strictly for the students and faculty of the university.”

At a comparable gym such as Gold’s Gym, it could cost a student upwards of $125 for the same services that are provided at the Student Recreation Center. A little more than $20 at Bally’s Total Fitness will only get you access to the gym three days out of the week and the price does not include a down payment that is specified by Bally’s.

Fitness Programmer and Assistant Director Maia Jost agreed with Allen.

“We don’t want to nickel and dime our student members,” Jost said. “Our goal is to find an affordable way to provide something for every member.”

This proves to be more difficult than one might think, considering the Student Recreation Center has had more than 88,000 student and faculty visits since Jan. 1.

Jost is responsible for creating different activities, such as spinning classes, weightlifting and even kickboxing to spark interest in many different types of exercise regimens.

“We are hoping to add some new classes this summer to give students more options to stay in shape,” Jost said.

One of the programs Jost hopes to put into place this summer is a spinning class that has been tentatively named the Tour de State. It is a stationary bike exercise program that is designed to mirror the terrain of the famed Tour De France cycling race, which is held every July.

Other classes that Jost would like to implement for the summer are a women’s self-defense class, which would be offered three times a week, and an advanced yoga class to compliment the beginning and intermediate body flow classes that are already available.

“What we want in our fitness classes is variety,” Jost said.

The summer fee of $25 barely allows for this variety of classes since student fees help supplement the Student Recreation Center throughout the semesters. According to Martha Chavez, the office assistant in membership services, student membership fees are included in tuition pay for Student Recreation Center usage throughout the semester, which is why there is not a membership fee during the semester.

Allen said that the recreation center is a non-profit facility and that they do not try to make money through memberships; the fees are simply added to the budget allocated by the university.

According to Director Derek Walters, the budget is about $1.2 million and covers all expenses ranging from the payroll, utilities and equipment, to maintenance and services contracts, such as landscaping and training workshops.

“In the summer, the membership fees collected from Fresno State students may not even cover the entire utilities bill for the facility for the month of June,” Allen said.

However, the Recreation Center staff feels it is important to keep their services affordable to students.

“We want people to come into the Student Recreation Center and find something that they want to try, without having to too pay too much for the services,” Jost said.

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