USG Senate endorses recreation facility plans, names conditions
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10
The Undergraduate Student Government Senate approved a bill voicing the body’s support for the university’s preliminary plans to build a new recreation facility.
But the senate’s support has a few stipulations. Not the least of which is that intercollegiate athletes are to be prevented from using the building for practice.
“All of that space should be open to all students at all times of the day if it’s the student body that pays for it and not the division of athletics,” Courchaine said.
University officials already involved in the preliminary planning process have stated the focus of the facility would be to serve the whole student body population as well as club sports. Currently, varsity sport’s practices keep students off the track and hardwood courts for time blocks of up to three hours.
“There are over 2,000 club sport athletes on campus, and there’s no dedicated area for them,” said Cynthia Costanzo, the executive director of recreation services, at USG’s informal meeting last week.
University officials said the new facility could be open as early as 2016, and will be paid for in bonds backed by student fees that will be implemented after the building opens its doors.
As discussions stand, the fee will run undergraduate students $244 per semester and graduate students and faculty would pay $180 per semester.
But these fees still need approval from UConn’s Board of Trustees, the university’s top decision-making body. Michael Kirk, the deputy chief of staff for President Susan Herbst, said the board could make a decision as early as their Oct. 23 meeting, but will likely decide on Nov. 13.
“But this [legislation] is in no way a rubber stamp of approval of what we were presented last week, this is definitely conditional on the things that we ask for,” Courchaine said.
USG’s endorsement also stipulates that students must have a hand in the planning process.
“[M]embers of the UConn administration have articulated, both verbally and in writing, their intention to systematically use student feedback in the planning and construction of a new recreation facility [and] to support the chartering of a student-led governance board to oversee the operation of the new facility,” the legislation reads.
The senate’s approval paves the way for USG to draft the charter authorizing a student governance board that would include students involved in club sports, UConn Outdoors and undergraduate and graduate student representatives, according to the legislation.