Students paying twice for gym services
DANIELLE DOIRON, SPORTS & LIFESTYLE EDITOR
RRC’s fitness centres may soon see some upgrades, and students are picking up the tab.
At the start of this semester, full-time RRC students paid an extra $10 at registration as part of a new recreation fee. The money to help the Athletic and Recreation Services Department become self-sufficient and pay for repairs and new equipment.
But many students don’t know they’re paying anything at all.
“I didn’t hear about it,” said Nick Mykietowich, a second-year business administration student.
Mykietowich said he uses the EDC gym often, and after learning about the fee said he doesn’t mind paying.
“Gyms charge $30 or more per month, so $10 a semester is a steal.”
Shane Ray, RRC’s Athletic and Recreation Services manager, agrees.
“For a full-time student, this works out to $2.50 a month and provides them with access to the gyms at Notre Dame and The Roblin Centre,” he said. “It’s extremely affordable when you consider the other options that are available outside of the college.”
Ray said most other colleges and universities in Manitoba charge between $80 and $150 for gym memberships over two terms, but $10 per student will likely be enough to help both gyms purchase or rent new equipment.
He said the college has already invested $5,000 into new equipment, compared to the $1,500 budgeted in previous years.
“The main idea behind it is to maintain our gyms,” said Benjamin McDonald, president of the RRCSA, which also helps fund the college gyms.
Currently, the RRCSA allocates $40,000 of its operating budget to gym staffing and maintenance. A large portion of this money comes from general student fees, meaning students essentially paid twice for the same service earlier this year.
McDonald said the $10 per student fee is “just an estimate” of the amount needed to cover gym maintenance costs. He said the college will examine this amount at a Board of Governors meeting on Oct. 28.
“We’ re discussing with them to figure out how we want to continue those arrangements. If the gym fee is enough and it covers everything, then the Students’ Association can re-invest that money into other things,” he said.
“Student wellness is a big thing for us. We will continue our discussions with the college to find out that that fee is the right fee. We don’t want to have to take away those services or cut hours or things like that. If we need to make that donation, that’s what we’re going to do.”
McDonald said he uses the gym himself and encourages all RRC students to take advantage of this gym membership, which is “one of the cheapest in Canada.”
“Save money where you can,” he said. “Some students don’t know this, but you are a Red River College student, regardless of where you go. If NDC is closer to you, use the gym there. If you live downtown, use it downtown. It doesn’t matter where you go to school. Take advantage of it.”