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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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Students to vote on proposed recreation expansion

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Photo by Cassie Stricker

The new recreational facilities would be located near the University Drive and the Quad.

In 1987, a 67 percent majority of students voted to pay $106 in addition to their current tuition and fees to build a recreational facility that would support the student population of the time, according to Dennis Corrington, executive director of Texas A&M Rec Sports. Eight years later on the Saturday before the semester began, the Rec opened its doors.
Since then, the student population on A&M’s main campus has increased by about 20,000 students, 80 percent of which use the Rec, averaging over 500 entries per hour, sometimes even over 900.
Vote Rec is an ad campaign designed to motivate students to vote once again to increase fees for the Rec by $39 starting in the fall of 2020. This time the fee would be used to build two new satellite facilities located on south side near the golf course parking lot and the other on northside near the College of Engineering to alleviate the overcrowding of the main facility.
Each satellite location will be complete with everything the current facility has to offer and a closer proximity to students who would normally have difficulties through travel and time commitment to reach the Rec.
“Our goal is to make recreation more available on campus and in closer proximity to where most students are located or a large majority of students are located, and give them multiple options to recreate,” said Jerrod Jackson, director of intramural sports at Texas A&M Rec Sports.
Grace Grindstaff, facilities coordinator for Texas A&M Rec Sports, said the population increase on campus was a major part of the decision to propose the two new facilities.
“I think ultimately having more space for the amount of students we have is always going to be a huge benefit for the students,” Grindstaff said.
Corrington said the overcrowding of the current facility and access to parking, as well as simply having the time to go to the Rec are the top issues students have, according to a stratified random sample survey.
“Locating facilities in neighborhoods like we are attempting to do now really saves students time, it puts more time in the recreation calendar and less time in the travel calendar,” Corrington said.
Jackson said the vote keeps students in control of whether or not the plans to create these two facilities will go forward.
“I would say the good part of this campaign is it’s completely up to the students,” Jackson said. “It is their decision. If they want more opportunities that are closer to them, then we feel that they should vote yes, but they reserve the right to vote the opposite.”
The process of working toward creating these two new locations started with the campus master plan in 2017, all of the planning and ad campaigns for the two new locations were done in house.
Chris Riggins, recreation, park and tourism sciences senior and communication student assistant at A&M Rec Sports, is one of the team members organizing the campaign.
“We actually didn’t hear about it until the beginning of the semester, so all the plans had kind of been put in place when all the student workers found out,” Riggins said. “I was super excited about it immediately because I’m here every day for work, so I see how crowded it is and I see the necessity for additional facilities.”
Stephanie Kvo, an education senior and facilities employee at A&M Rec Sports, is a part of the “street team” to get the message out to a variety of student groups outside of the Rec.
“I won’t be here to see the facilities while I’m a student, but I’m just excited to be like ‘Oh, I got to be a part of that and I got to be the one that was promoting it,’” Kvo said.
Kvo noted that students who do not use the Rec or see an overall student need for more facilities may not feel like the increased fee is worth it, but she personally disagrees.
“I think it’s all about passing it forward, leaving a legacy, providing for Texas A&M as a whole [and] supporting other Aggies,” Kvo said. “People do come to the Rec and I think this is a great opportunity for all of us. It’s a chance for us to leave our mark.”
To have your vote counted, visit vote.tamu.edu from Feb. 22-23 and mark “yes” or “no” to the increase in the recreational sports fee. For more information, visit recsports.tamu.edu/VOTEREC.

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  • Passing the proposition would result in a $39 fee increase for the Rec starting Fall of 2020. 

    Photo by Cassie Stricker

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