The heralded arrival of the new TVs at the Central Campus Recreation Building, North Campus Recreation Building and Intramural Building made me realize just how discontent I have been with my recreational experience at the University. Somehow, the “new TVs” project managed to beat out improving natural lighting, increasing capacity, replacing outdated equipment and creating more open spaces for allocation of the $1.6 million in funding for the renovation of recreational buildings. Although I trust the Core 20, outside consultants and Recreational Sports Director Bill Canning are working together to dig for information on students’ recreational needs, I do not trust busy, or otherwise lazy, students to voice their opinions loud enough to be heard.

It’s the first major recreational improvement undertaken since Canning was a student here, and new TVs get priority? Can we stand for this? The scheduled improvements are by no means easy proposals, and I am sure TVs were something that could be done to make short-term advancements. It is no less disheartening to think now that there is finally funding for renovations it has been spent covering up, rather than aggressively addressing, the problem. Even the new turf on Elbel Field has limited recreational value as its boundaries were built so short that the only organized athletic groups that can use it without potential danger of running into the fence will be the Michigan Marching Band. The new fence represents the division between students’ interests and University goals.

I would be willing to bet that the number of students who decided not to attend the University because of its dilapidated recreational facilities can be counted on one hand. For this reason, recreation will never be a University priority. Students need to voice their opinion or risk leaving the future of our facilities to the same department that let them decay to the sorry state we find them in today.

James Wilber
Kinesiology senior

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