On December 3rd, students were charged a $35.00 student fitness fee. This fee entitles students to membership for the Healthy Living Centre. With over 100 hours of operation per week, the facility provides members with a walking/jogging track, change rooms complete with showers and complimentary lockers, and a fitness facility with state-of-the-art cardio equipment.
The fee is charged $35 per term, to a maximum of $70 annually. The fee is priced similarly to those at other Canadian universities, such as the University of British Columbia. The fee is included in tuition much like the University of Winnipeg and the University of Regina. In comparison with other fitness facilities in Brandon, the membership is rather economical with the sessional fee checking in at $8.75 per month. For example, yearlong student memberships paid in full at the Brandon YMCA and Frederickson Performance Centre are $420 and $398 respectively.
There is no opt-out policy in place for the student fitness fee. It will be charged to all on-campus students, both full and part time. Many students have expressed displeasure with the fee being mandatory, including those with a recent purchase of a membership to another fitness facility, individuals with a preference for facilities or equipment unavailable at the Healthy Living Centre, students in health studies or education with practicums outside of Brandon, and individuals who believe that involvement in a gym does not fit their personal lifestyle, amongst other concerns. The fee is similar to those associated with student services, the student union, or U-Pass, which are all available to students without an opt-out clause, even though not all individuals choose to utilize the benefits of these services.
The Healthy Living Centre will be open to students on January 14th.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 16, January 8, 2013.