16 The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 7 2000
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Rackham graduate student Mike Bachman works out on a butterfly machine at the Central Campus Recreation
Building this week.
But during the recent Michigan Student
Assembly elections, the accessibility of cam-
pus student services such as the Central Cam-
pus Recreation Building was questioned out of
concern that the hours did not accommodate
Other students who use the facilities say it's
not the hours that concern them but the quality
of the equipment they are using to tone and
firm their bodies and minds.
"I think the facilities are poor compared to
the amount of funding this University
receives," RC senior Tony Gardiner said.
Engineering sophomore Andrea Chod said
she is outraged by the facilities. "The
machines are dirty, rusty, old and gross. I have
to force myself to use them," Chod said.
"I think they could be a lot better. They are
really crowded, and you have to wait forever
to get a machine that you want," Engineering
freshman Heather Steen said.
Although students complain about the facil-
ities, members of the Department of Recre-
ational Sports staff say funds and space
shortage present quite a problem.
Working out the problems
The University built the Central Campus
and North Campus recreational buildings in
the early 1970s. RecSnorts Business Manager
Larry Branch said the University is still pay-
ing off the debt on the facilities.
Between the three buildings, the University
offers students three swimming pools, bad-
minton courts, indoor jogging tracks, personal
dance space, speed bag and heavy bag boxing
areas, martial arts space, handball courts, wally-
ball courts, squash-
Each year the department pays $587,000 to
student employees, who each earn between
$5.50 and $7.85 per hour.
Due the University's tight budget concerns,
some students say they can only get a good
workout off cam-
tables and frisbee
charges all students
$15 out of their
tuition per semes-
ter for the facili-
ties, which breaks
down to $5 for
$6 for bond
redemption and $4
rt ur i est
One on One Ath-
letic Club, located
at 2875 Boardwalk
Dr. near the Briar-
wood Mall, said
between 20 percent
and 25 percent of its
members are col-
lege students, most
of whom attend the
for maintenance, RecSports Associate Direc-
tor Debrah Webb said.
RecSports Director Mike Stevenson said
about 85 percent of students have used the fit-
ness facilities on campus.
During elections last month, MSA candidates
from the Wolverine Party campaigned on a plat-
form calling for 24-hour access to the University
libraries, the Michigan Union and the CCRB.
"A 24 hour CCRB is unreal-
istic," Webb said.
After the buildings close, the
facilities are rented to groups,
and the later the building clos-
es, the later the rental starts,
"People have to be aware of
the rental program and that
custodians need to be here to
clean and get ready for the
next day," Webb said.
Besides the logistics of
building operations, Webb said
it is money that is the biggest
hurdle in accommodating stu-
While students want newer
facilities, Webb said the earliest
possible time that the Universi-
ty could renovate or add on to
the CCRB and NCRB is 2002.
"It is very unlikely, we are
tied into the tuition percentage
the state is willing to agree to,"
"There are too many people
fighting for the same dollars.
We've asked but there is no
luck," Webb said.
The recent addition of eight
treadmills to the CCRB and six
to the NCRB set RecSports
back $95,000. New Nautilus
machines at the CCRB that
were installed two weeks ago
machines that had been in use
since the center first opened
and put a sizeable $39,000 dent
in the RecSports budget.
"Folks have to realize that
$115,000 is spent on mainte-
nance," Webb said.
Every 10 years, the main
gyms need to be sanded down
and recoated, which was done
to the Intramural Sports Build-
out here because the facilities on campus
aren't well maintained and don't have updated
equipment," One on One employee Andrea
Ste. Marie said.
"Plus we offer a full range of aerobic class-
es free to members and yoga and pilates - a
really broad range - as well as fitness con-
sultants and personal trainers," she said.
An average membership at One on One
costs $50 per month,
but some students
said they don't mind
paying for an off-
campus gym mem-
"The facilities are
nicer and there's
shorter waiting times
than the CCRB," said
LSA sophomore Jor-
dan Bernstein, who
works out at One on
off-campus spot is
Bally Total Fitness,
located at 615 Briar-
wood Drive. Bally's
Nesheiwat said 30
percent to 35 percent
of the club's members The Central Campus Recre
are students. three fitness facilities on c
"it is less crowded
here, we have state of the art, equipment and
that is why students usually work out here,"
An exercise in patience
Students concerns about the CCRB have
been expressed before.
In October 1998, LSA senior Joe Bernstein,
who served on MSA at the time, led a com-
mittee to improve the CCRB. The group sug-
gested a small increase in tuition to give
RecSports more funding.
MSA and LSA Student Government unani-
mously passed resolutions to improve the
In an official statement describing the pro-
posal, Bernstein emphasized that University
students deserve better.
"On a campus where we are encouraged to
be healthy people who exercise regularly, it
just doesn't make any sense to have exercise
equipment that is in really poor shape. The
problem now is getting enough money to make
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increase to the University Board of Regents.
Bernstein said he believes the administration
did not present a proposal to the regents and
consequently no improvements were made.
Bernstein said all the University needs to do
is change its priorities and reallocate funds.
"Part of our tuition goes to resurfacing side-
walks," he said, "Do students really care? It is
not true that they can't increase the budget for
Although Bernstein fought hard for
changes while he was an MSA member,
recently elected MSA Communications
Chairman Matt Nolan said, "If somebody
brings up this issue of improving RecSports
then we'll look at it, but our main focus is on
communicating with the other committees to
carry out ideas."
Nolan said he plans to speak with Bernstein
to find out what exactly was done by he and
his committee because "MSA committees
don't carry over ideas very well," Nolan said.
Buffing up the machines
RecSports may not immediately follow
MSA requests, but department managers said
they are able to meet students' desires through
input from suggestion forms when money and
Webb said RecSports managers had several
requests for new
treadmills. As a result,
eight new treadmills
were purchased last
fall and a racquetball
court was closed to
accommodate the new
Webb said the staff
travels to trade shows
and compare notes
with other schools to
determine what holds
"We try to offer as
many alternatives so
everyone can find
some type of equip-
ment that really fits
their exercise needs,"
"We realize it gets
tion IDg ROCHKiND/Daily really crowded, but
ilnBuilding Is 'one of
mpus. our hands are really
kindof tied. Take a
look in the rooms and there's nowhere to put
new machines without adding additional
space," Webb said.
In addition, Webb said, the building's elec-
trical capacity has been reached.
In the meantime, RecSpotts staff say they
are trying to keep the equipment updated and
the facilities well maintained.
Last month the CCRB and the NCRB
received new lights, which Webb said are the
"They are a lot more efficient and brighter,
so it should be much better," she said.
Ventilation in the building, which students
often complained about, also has been
"Several years ago we upgraded the air
cooling system units in the exercise and
weight rooms, which cost a significant amount
of money to get up to par, but improved dra-
matically," Webb said.
RecSports also plans to extend the facilities'
hours at the beginning of the fall term. From