Rec Center adjusts hours to reflect lower student enrollment

Jason Henry and Jason Henry

The Student Recreation Center has reduced its nighttime hours following low enrollment.

Stephen Kampf, director of Recreation and Wellness, said the Rec Center will close one hour earlier each night, excluding Saturdays, which will remain the same. The change went into place on Monday. ‘Due to the fact that the State of Ohio has decreased funding to the University and enrollment has dropped, funding for Rec and Wellness is being decreased,’ he said. ‘We’re supported by general fee, and this past year we obtained $271,196 less in general fee.’

Kampf said while the Rec Center’s revenue has been better than anticipated this year, partly from higher community membership sales and events, it has not been enough to maintain the previous hours.

‘At this point, I think we’ve exercised all the different decreases in expenses and possible increases in revenue,’ he said. A budget for next year will be created soon, Kampf said.

‘Hopefully, at those discussions, there are ways we can find to bring those hours back,’ he said. ‘But at this time, it’s not going to happen.’

Recreation and Wellness has been planning for the possibility of reducing hours since last February, but did not know for sure until enrollment numbers were determined on the 15th day of classes.

‘We were hoping enrollment would be higher than projected, but they came back even, maybe a little less,’ he said.

The reductions were chosen because those hours see the lowest entry rate.

‘Those hours estimate about eight to 15 student entries per day,’ Kampf said. This estimation does not factor in those who are already at the Rec, he said.

Senior Chris Rabbani is not happy about the reduction.

‘I liked the convenience of being able to come later, especially when you have later classes. You can get out at 8 or 9 p.m. sometimes,’ Rabbani said.

He said he would not mind a small increase in fees if it would allow more hours.

‘I would pay for the convenience,’ Rabbani said.

The Rec Center has increased fees before, Kampf said. He said he would hate to do it again.

The hours will only be returned to normal if enrollment increases or if more revenue is generated, he said.

Senior Justin Rohrbacher said he does not use the Rec, but he thinks people will not be happy about the decrease in hours.

‘I’m sure there is money sitting around somewhere that is not being used in the right way,’ Rohrbacher said. ‘Lots of money is getting spent on sports and building new buildings. It is taking away from activities that students could do.”