Chanticleer News Editor
Students not enrolled in the summer semester do not have access to the new Recreation and Fitness Center and must pay for summer access. Summer access for those who are not enrolled, but finished the previous semester is $190 for the entire summer semester, $95 for half a semester or $49 monthly.
The $32 million dollar Rec Center was mired in controversy earlier this year for implementing a mandatory $190 fee per semester beginning Spring 2019. Many students have criticized the move to not allow summer access to those not enrolled, saying that their $190 fee per semester should cover year round costs and allow them access.
“I think the summer fee is ridiculous. Students have always been able to use Stephenson for free in the summer and the pool in Pete Matthews. The Recreation Center should be no different,” said a JSU student, who asked to remain anonymous. “JSU should have told students about the summer fee way before the summer approached but everyone found out around mid April which is not fair.”
Stephenson Hall, the previous student fitness facility on campus, allowed students to have access year-round. Many have criticized the summer access policy because it deviates from the access that Stephenson provided.
“I think it’s outrageous. I personally used the facility pretty often,” said Jacob Roberson, a music education major. “We’re college students, not financial moguls. I get that the university has to make their money, but jeez that’s a lot for a gym membership. It makes me sad that’s the reason I can’t maintain my new hobby of rock climbing.”
Not all students have issues with the mandatory summer fee, however.
“I can understand the annoyance of students who aren’t taking summer classes but work and live in Jacksonville. At the same time though, I feel as if would be unfair for the students who did have to pay that fee to watch students who didn’t pay any fees gain access to the Rec Center,” said Jerod Sharp, SGA Vice President of Student Senate.
Sharp goes on to argue that students are capable of paying for monthly access to the Rec Center if you have a job and are good at balancing a budget.
“In the end, we have to pay the Rec Center off because we’re under a contract to do so,” said Sharp.