RWEC proposal fits in Sac State’s future

Jason Okamoto

The last two times students voted on a new recreational center, it didn’t pass. It may have been because it was too costly at the time, or maybe because our sports programs were even worse than they are now.

Both of these reasons were valid at the time, but in the upcoming ballot we will have another chance to vote for or against a center. The reasons of the past don’t carry as much weight in 2004, because the proposed plans for the new Recreation/Wellness/Events Center are something to behold.

The new RWEC would contain basketball courts, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a bowling center and even a movie theater. The arena in the center would be available for concerts and other special events. Seeing as our current gym facilities suck, and an improvement has been long overdue, most indoor sports programs would be interested to learn that the arena would likely be their new home court when finished.

The Associated Students, Inc. legislation supporting the project says that the RWEC “would provide the facility, the equipment and the means necessary to increase student life and time on campus for Sac State.” I hope this turns out to be true. While there is no flaw in striving for wellness and fitness, there could be a conflict of interest if athletes are hogging the courts or the equipment; it would be a shame if we spend millions of dollars on a place just for jocks to hang out.

Instead, I picture a utopia in my mind: People waving while walking on treadmills. Mothers with their children, drinking fruit smoothies, smiling to passers-by. And last, but not least, an arena jam-packed with screaming Sac State fans. Not that I would ever go, but if I ever had the urge, it would be nice to know that I can find a place where students are more excited about Sac State than I am.

ASI President Peter Ucovich says that there is a need for a center that would accommodate the growing student population. With the new Jefferson Commons student housing complex going up this year, the word “need” seems appropriate.

Students will be expected to pay for at least some of the facility. In survey results released by the Coalition for Recreation, Events and Wellness, 71 percent of students are in favor of a fee increase that ranges from $100 to $150 per semester. However, only 41 percent favor a plan that would cost more than $150 per semester.

Today, the students pay approximately $80 for the University Union. You might want to ask yourself on Election Day: Is the Union worth it?

The new center could also earn Sac State the attention it needs to put us in the forefront of schools nationwide. Years from now, when I’m old, someone is going to ask me where I received my degree. Out of two possibilities I would rather answer, “I went to Sac State when it wasn’t popular,” than have that same person ask again, “Where?”