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Lack of funding is the real problem with intermurals

To the Vanguard,

As the Student Recreation Cluster representatives, we would like to respond to the editorial that ran in the Vanguard on November 23, 2001 concerning the operations and management of the Peter Stott Center. While we agree and support many of your points regarding a lack of service, we think it would behoove the student body to get a more full picture of our situation.

Portland State Student Recreation is funded by your student fees. As such, we agree that you should have traditional intramural sports such as flag football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball, open recreation hours for weight lifting, circuit training, open gym time and personnel in place to handle the needs of a campus of over 20,000 students. Unfortunately, that is not the case here at PSU. There is one Intramurals Coordinator, one Recreation Coordinator and one Aquatics Coordinator.

At many of our peer institutions which PSU compares itself with, these positions are usually filled by full-time professional staff. For instance, the University of Oregon has a Director of Recreation Sports, an Assistant Director, a Club Sports Director, an Assistant Club Sports Director and an Administrative Assistant. The University of Memphis has the following full-time professionals: Director, Assistant Director, Intramurals Director, and a Program Coordinator. Ideally, students would then learn under these professionals to assist in the management of these programs, not be expected to run them solely on a part-time basis as we do at PSU.

We think it is fair to ask that those services be available and supported. We are the largest university in the state and yet three students administer these essential student services.

In order to address some of these concerns, the Peter Stott Advisory Board is working diligently to restructure the management of the building. This would include issues such as professional staff available during all hours the building is open, operating the building staff under one budget, and clarifying the need for ID checking.

Since no money comes from PSU to support these operations, there is a trifecta of entities which pay for the building to stay open: student fees, locker room fees and user fees. Academics supplement these budgets by contributing to supplies, such as the weight and circuit room equipment. A fee is also paid to use the Aquatics Center. The Viking Athletic Department has no responsibility for the management nor the condition of the Stott Center.

As the Student Recreation Cluster representatives, we are your advocates to make sure there are opportunities for students to participate in recreation activities. We have begun to make substantive changes, such as the flag football and indoor soccer that went on this past semester, and ask that students work with us to make these programs happen.

We will continue to try and provide you the best services we can. Please support us by signing up for intramurals, attending open gym times, and asking your student fee committee that these programs be supported with the proper financial and administrative support.

Alex Accetta, Student Recreation Advisor
Shane Jordan, Senior, Recreation Coordinator
Jackie Parker, Senior, Aquatics Coordinator
Malia Guard, Junior, Intramurals Coordinator