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Viewpoint: Overcrowding at the REC

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Grant Horst, Staff Reporter

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One of the biggest issues for active students facing our campus today is the overcrowding of the athletic facilities. Every day many people use the Recreational Eagle Center (REC) for a various number of activities. The problem with this is the REC is not big enough to handle our campus of ten thousand students, especially during winter months. If you walk into the REC when it’s busyyou will have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to play basketball, get a squat rack, or even get on a treadmill.

Why is it like this?

It’s way too overcrowded in the REC. For one, I believe our campus doesn’t make the best use of space  Basketball is easily the most popular activity, and some days I see almost thirty to forty students waiting to get into a pickup game. A little ridiculous don’t you think? The REC center only has four courts of basketball hoops and one is usually taken up by volleyball or other events. This leaves three full court games at once at most, leaving the unlucky students waiting for a chance to play. Mitchell Hall has a larger gym for basketball but isn’t available to the majority of the student population and is reserved for ESS 100 classes which rarely last over an hour. This could also be used for the volleyball that they set up inside the REC but choose not to. Mitchell hall also contains a weight room, but this and the gym are mostly dedicated to UW-La Crosse athletics only, not the regular student.

Another huge issue is the weight room on campus. Our main weight room in the REC is just too small for an active school. The max capacity is around thirty-five people, and around thirty makes an uncomfortable lift while you wait for your turn for what lift you need. A campus that has ten thousand students should not be marginalized when it comes to student health and fitness. As one of the best athletic training schools, you would think there would be more money and effort put into the actual athletic facilities. The overcrowding of the REC even causes a lot of students to be overwhelmed and less active.

Wes Quintana, UW-L junior commented on this issue stating, “The times I can go and work out it’s always super busy. The weight room is always stuffed, the basketball courts are usually taken, and the upstairs leaves you waiting forever for the machines you need. There just isn’t enough space to work out on a student schedule on our campus.”

UW-La Crosse actually decided to combat this by asking students to give 20 million dollars for a new fieldhouse project. The students voted in favor of this project, and it’s estimated to be completed in spring 2019. This increased tuition by over $100 per semester for students, a majority of whom will never get to make use of this expensive facility. The new fieldhouse is also going to be mainly used for UW-L collegiate athletics, which leaves me wondering if a regular student will even be able to make use of the facility in the future. As for now, we face a serious issue of overcrowding that’s making students less active.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Viewpoint: Overcrowding at the REC”

  1. Former Student on April 6th, 2017 7:10 am

    I thought that the plan was to add on to the rec?

    [Reply]

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Viewpoint: Overcrowding at the REC