Athletic fee unfair when facilities are inaccessible

To the editor:

Over the past two years Geneseo gym facilities have constantly been unavailable to students wishing to play pickup sports such as basketball or soccer. It is very unfair to charge a $156.50 athletic fee per semester to each student when it gets them little else than free admission to our school's Division III athletic events. The Workout Center still costs money to attend for students living off campus, which makes up roughly 40 percent of the school's population, and participating in intramurals costs up to $30 a team. Besides all of this, Schrader Gym, which was closed for all of last year, is locked unless being used for sporting events or practice by a varsity teams.

Would someone please explain to me how the school justifies charging this fee when no gym facilities are available for students during normal hours? For instance, on Jan. 23 Kuhl Gym was occupied from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. for varsity practices while Schrader Gym was locked and the Holcomb facility was occupied from 6 p.m. until 11p.m.

This problem may not seem like a pressing issue, but when one of the gyms does happen to be open during prime hours, such as between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., you can see up to 40 or 50 students playing pickup sports. It is simply unfair to deny students the use of facilities when it is clear that they would utilize them if they were made available.

My issue is not with paying the athletic fees, but it is with what students gain, or do not gain, from these fees. Several other schools call for similar fees, but at least they provide free and available access to all of their athletic facilities, including open gym hours and free access for all students to workout centers.

This is an issue that the school must address in the very near future because all students have rights to the school's gym and workout facilities.

-Scott Lawniczak