Students should have year-round rec center access


Design by Jaden Edison

Bayley Bogus, Managing Editor

Students can pay upwards of thousands of dollars a semester without accounting for rent, food, and other miscellaneous expenses. Life is not as cheap as it once was for previous generations. Student loan debt is accelerating so fast it has become a burden on the U.S. economy, with the average student loan debt sitting at approximately $37,000.

Financial insecurity is directly linked to stress and anxiety which, in turn, may lead to weight gain. Once the average student gets to college, their physical activity hits a decline, as do their eating habits. A new study has found over 70 percent of college students gain weight and body fat by graduation, fueled by late-night snacking, fattening dorm meals and decrease of exercise. For Texas State students, visiting the beautifully renovated and easily accessible gym may be the only way to combat that statistic.

Texas State has a great recreation center catering to any and all students wanting to use it; the facility offers group fitness, basketball and volleyball courts, a weight room, indoor track, a rock-climbing center and a ton more. Students do not need to think twice about using the rec center, as the cost is already bundled within tuition. Oftentimes, during a typical academic school year, students who are regular gym-goers may take it for granted, especially during the summertime when — if students are not taking summer classes — it is only open to the select few.

This is the part most students are probably unaware of unless they have experienced it firsthand. When paying tuition and all categories grouped within the total bill, the rec center accounts for approximately $100. Students essentially pay for all aspects of Texas State to function properly, regardless if they use everything they pay for. The rec center is crucial for those who consistently use it, as it functions as an outlet or hobby.

However, for students currently enrolled at Texas State but not taking summer classes, their time at the gym becomes discontinued unless they choose to pay extra. To visit the rec center during summer hours, students can pay $6 for a daily pass or about $95 for the whole summer. Granted, these prices are not horrible, but more expensive than affordable gyms like Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym or Fitness Connection, which offer similar amenities in comparison.

The issue is, as long as someone still attends Texas State and has not yet graduated, they should be allowed to hit the gym whenever they please. Students pay for this amenity every semester of attendance and that fee should apply as long as they’re enrolled.

A good chunk of the university’s demographics cannot or does not want to spend extra money on hitting the gym they have grown so fond of or dependent on. It’s an unnecessary hassle, leading students to more sedentary lifestyles come summer or being forced to exercise outside, which no one loves doing in the Texas heat. Plus, it can be extremely dangerous.

Additionally, a good workout serves as an emotional outlet or stress reliever for a lot of people. It may be a portion of someone’s day or week where they can forget their worries and just concentrate on movement. Overall, the consistent exercise of some kind increases overall health and sense of well-being. It pumps up endorphins, works as meditation in motion and improves moods.

However, this is not about why exercise and working out is beneficial, but how students should be able to take part in these activities as often they like without worrying about extra fees. It should not matter whether a student is taking summer classes or not; as long as they are considered a current student at Texas State, all someone should have to do is swipe their Bobcat card to use its facilities.

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