EDITORIAL: New recreation and wellness facility needs student body’s help


The main entrance to the Helfaer Rec Center demonstrates just how outdated our recreation center is. Photo by Benjamin Erickson / benjamin.a.erickson@mu.edu

Marquette Student Government spent the past year gathering feedback from student organizations, club sports and performing groups based off of a feasibility study conducted five years ago.

It has come to MUSG’s attention that Marquette needs to improve its recreation and wellness space on campus not only for these organizations and groups, but for the entire Marquette community.

These improvements require planning, time and money. Before diving into those capitals, it is essential that the student body is knowledgeable about the proposed plan and that they participate in the referendum taking place on March 15 to give MUSG the best understanding of the feasibility and interest in this project.

The facilities have been out of date for some time — the main room in the Helfaer Rec Center has only six treadmills for a student body of roughly 12,000. With that said, undergraduate students must acknowledge that this vote will add $100 to their fees, outside of tuition cost. It would be ideal for all Marquette students, including graduate and professional studies, to contribute to the facility, but MUSG is only capable of legislating on behalf of the undergraduate population. If undergraduate students believe holistic health is as important as MUSG says it is, then their vote and their dollars will be worth the recreation and wellness center that will benefit future generations of Marquette students.

Some students may argue they do not want to pay the fee for a new recreation and wellness space given they do not utilize the one Marquette currently has. This overlooks the other wellness needs from which students can benefit, including an improved Medical Clinic and a Counseling Center of greater capacity and quality, both of which have consistently increased in usage and demand over the last few years.

Other students may feel jaded that they would have to pay a fee and never reap the benefits of the new and improved facility. But gaze into the future a little bit: if our recreation and wellness facilities remain as they presently are, won’t the future Marquette students  be even more upset, especially with a new Athletic Performance Research Center that promotes health and wellness for Marquette’s sports teams and specialized academic programs — but not the average student? The university should be equally committed to building a wellness facility for the entire student body, and this is why MUSG is making great strides to turn this vision into reality and needs the student body’s willing participation.

Before making a final decision to vote yes or no for the improved recreation and wellness facility, students must be sure to weigh all costs and benefits involved.

As college students, its very easy to be supportive in theory, but when any sort of cost is added into the equation, it’s easy to flake using the go-to broke-college-student-spiel and walk away, especially since the facility will not be a reality during our time at Marquette. How could you possibly understand why paying $100 would be worth the benefits for something that doesn’t exist or that you might not experience?

MUSG’s ultimate goal is to understand from the vote whether the Marquette community is truly committed to health and wellness of all students. Before voting against the $100 fee based on the conclusion that it is too much to pay – especially given Marquette’s already pricey tuition – Marquette students need to discern how important health is to themselves and how this vote will affect future generations of Marquette students.