The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Student vote may raise rec fee

Students will vote this week on whether to raise the Student Recreation Center fee by $10 per semester, adding $1 million annually to the budget of the recreational sports department.
Dennis Corrington, director of recreational sports, said the increase is necessary to maintain and expand the Rec Center and intramural fields, and also to give student workers in the department a pay raise. The fee is currently $78 per semester.
The fee increase would double the size of the weight and fitness room in the Rec Center, which carries a $4 million price tag, Corrington said, and would also fund a $5 million expansion of the Penberthy Intramural Sports Center. This would include additional intramural fields, new buildings for participants, walking/running trails, lakes and picnic tables.
With an average annual budget growth of 5 percent, Corrington said that without the fee hike, the department will have to cut services.
“We may have to cut hours at the Rec Center, and take a hard look at our programs to determine which ones are serving the most students at the least cost,” he said.
Although the department has a $5 million reserve fund, Corrington said that money is used to help cover current budget shortfalls and for debt service on the $36 million Rec Center, which opened in 1995.
Some students have voiced opposition to the fee increase and said the department should postpone expensive new initiatives.
“With tuition about to go up, it isn’t the right time to be raising this fee,” said Darren Pierson, president of the Graduate Student Council.
The GSC, after listening to Corrington make his case for the fee hike last week, passed a resolution urging students to vote down the proposal.
Corrington said the recreational sports department would need a $10 fee hike every three years to cover inflation and new initiatives. If students approve the increase this week, the weight room expansion is expected to be completed by 2006 and the Penberthy expansion will be done by 2005.
Student worker wage increases are necessary, Corrington said, because the department is having difficulty recruiting and keeping students in skilled positions, such as medics, aerobic instructors and intramural officials. With about 1,000 student workers, the recreational sports department is the largest student employer on campus.
Students can vote Feb. 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Memorial Student Center, the Rec Center, Evans Library, West Campus Library, the Blocker Building and the West Campus Library. Students can also vote on the Internet at http://vote.tamu.edu.
Corrington said the new fee increase would generate revenue comparable to the revenue raised by the recreation fee at the University of Texas at Austin. About 70 percent of students use the Rec Center at least once a semester, Corrington said.

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