Tag: Rec center

New JSU rock climbing club gets off the ground

Keeley Tibbitts, News Correspondent

Southern Senders, the new JSU rock climbing team, is a brand new club that currently has sixteen members, and they are accepting any student who is interested. Aaron Tucker, a JSU student, officially started this club on August 29 and serves as the president.

“I’m starting the club because I want a chance for students to improve their rock climbing skills in a competitive way while making new friends. I’m also excited to introduce new people to the sport that they might not be familiar with” said Tucker.

The Southern Senders will be traveling to local competitions and all over the Southeast. They will also be taking trips to outdoor climbing facilities like Horse Pens 40 and Sandrock. 

“I am very excited to travel to other schools and have the opportunity to meet students who share the same interests as us” said Tucker. 

Teryn Schwind, the team secretary, said “I love rock climbing, and I get to meet new people and be around people who are just as passionate as I am.” Schwind also said they will be practicing after hours at the Recreation and Fitness Center with their coach. 

The JSU rock climbing team will be competing soon, and they are selling shirts with their logo to support the team.

Luau cookout welcomes students

Keeley Tibbitts, News Correspondent

The Jacksonville State University Student Government Association hosted a Luau Cookout at the Recreation and Fitness Center to welcome back students and ring in the new semester. The SGA organized the event with the help of Veronica Bjorkman, the assistant dean for student life.

“I just got here three or four months ago, and I’m excited to get to know the student body this semester,” said Bjorkman. 

Hotdogs and canned sodas were offered to those who attended, and the first fifty students received a free t-shirt. As students celebrated one of the last events for Welcome Back week, many expressed their excitement for the new fall semester.

A frequent rock wall climber, Ben Junkins, spoke at the event about a possible rock wall team forming sometime in September.

“I’m really excited about the Marching Southerners show,” said Sadie Appleton, one of the section leaders for the flute line. “I think it’s going to be the best show.”

Katie Coe, who is also a section leader for the flutes, expressed her excitement for returning back to the Marching Southerners.

 “I’m excited for marching band because that’s my life,” said Coe. “But also, I’m excited to see everyone back on campus.”

“I’m looking forward to playing against UTC and UNA in football and to getting Wesley Foundation events started again,” said Samantha Hastings.

Photo courtesy of Keeley Tibbitts

JSU generated over $8.3 million in fees from Fall 2018, Spring 2019 semesters

By Scott Young

News Editor

Each student who was enrolled at Jacksonville State University in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters paid a $200 ‘general university fee’ on top of numerous other small fees and hundreds of dollars in tuition per credit hour.

Buffy Lockette, JSU’s public relations director, provided a breakdown of the general university fee from the JSU Controller’s office as well as information about how the allocations are decided.

Of the $200 fee, $60 went to transportation, $40 to student health, $35 to university recreation, $35 to the library, $15 to classroom improvements, $10 to capital planning and facilities and $5 to ‘special projects’. The special project for the 2018-2019 fiscal year was labeled ‘Marching Southerners’.

For Spring 2019, the university initially allocated $35 of the $200 fee to university recreation. Lockette later stated that the $35 for university recreation allocated in Spring 2019 was “re-allocated internally in the spring to capital projects to support technology upgrades in the classroom.” However, the $35 for university recreation in Fall 2018 was not reallocated.

“The Tuition and Fees Committee makes a recommendation each year to the President and VP of Business and Finance [James Brigham] and those recommendations are reviewed and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval at the April trustee meeting,” said Lockette.

According to Blake Hunter, the coordinator of Institutional Research at JSU, during the fall semester of 2018, there were 8,479 students enrolled at JSU and in the spring semester of 2019 there were 7,726 students enrolled.

On average, Jacksonville State University students pay just shy of $4,000 for tuition each semester, not including fees. The JSU ‘general university fee’ generated an estimated $3,241,000 from both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 alone, while the Recreation and Fitness Center fee, technology fee and student activity fee brought in an estimated $5,104,575.

Lockette went on to state that the fee allocations for the Fall 2019 semester have not been decided, and that fees for the upcoming semesters will be bundled and charged per credit hour.

Summer Fee Graphic
Infographic shows the 95 percent and 5 percent split of the $200 Summer General University Fund.


For the summer, students taking between one to three credit hours pay a $100 general university fee and students taking three or more credit hours pay $200. However, despite the $100 difference between these two fees, students who paid $100 and those who paid $200 both have equal access to the Recreation Center for the entire summer.

Lockette confirmed that during the Summer 2019 semester, 95 percent of the general university fee was allocated to the Recreation and Fitness Center, while the remaining five percent is allocated for student health.

Microsoft Word - Allocation of General University Fee.docx
JSU Public Relations Director Buffy Lockette confirmed the breakdown of the Summer General University Fee with this document above.


“As long as a student is taking at least one class, they will have access into the facility for the whole summer,” said Cecelia Chavez, the coordinator of facility operations for the Recreation Center.

Ashley Stephens, an art major at JSU who is taking summer classes, expressed dissatisfaction with the university over the two different fee amounts for equal summer Recreation Center access.

“As someone who is taking 11 hours and knowing that people taking only 3 hours don’t have to pay as much as me for fees makes me mad,” said Stephens. “It’s not fair to me and anyone who is trying to continue their education. This isn’t good for students’ pockets, and it’s not good for JSU’s image.”

Students like Emily Barfield, a cellular and molecular biology major, have no problem with allowing all summer students equal access to a facility she denotes as “necessary”.

“I’m taking six credit hours this summer so I paid the $200general university fee. I am not bothered that students who only paid $100 get to use the same recreation center that I get to use,” said Barfield. “On the other hand, I would be bothered if they just let any student, regardless if they were taking classes or not, use the recreation center after we had to pay the fee.”

The breakdown of where the general university fee is allocated is not readily available on the JSU website, nor is it reflected on students’ accounts when paying tuition and fees. The Chanticleer obtained the information by contacting Buffy Lockette, who then requested the information from the Controller’s office.

Stephens argues that the university should be more public with information pertaining to tuition and fees, including where the general university fee is allocated.

“I know most people want to know where their money is going,” said Stephens. “I think it can make the university look shady and like they’re withholding information from the students and their parents.”

Barfield sided with the university, citing the methods and practices of other universities.

“I looked into that [public accessibility of fee breakdown] with other universities and no other universities had anything about their fees or where the money actually goes posted on their websites,” said Barfield. “As much backlash as JSU has gotten from this recreation fee, I think they may even be less open about things moving forward.”

Lockette defends the university’s process of deliberating tuition and fee changes. She describes the Tuition and Fees committee as a “diverse mix of faculty, staff and students.”

“All trustee meetings are open to the public, the SGA President has a seat at the table, and the President’s office always sends a reminder email inviting the Chanticleer to attend,” said Lockette.

Editor’s note: Fees have been applied to student accounts for students who are already enrolled in fall classes. Starting in fall of 2019, the “General University Fee” covers all other fees (excluding individual program fees.) For students taking more than six hours this coming semester, the flat rate is $700, which is an $113 increase from previous semesters (based on an average student’s 12 hour semester.) For more information on the fall fees, visit JSU’s Office of Student Accounts page at http://www.jsu.edu/bursar/fees/index.html and look for a new article from The Chanticleer soon regarding the changes to the fee structure.

Summer Rec Center fee has students feeling the burn

Scott Young

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.