Record voting numbers boost rec center referendum to approval


Andrew Burnes, Editor

After weeks of heavy advertisement, the referendum to decide whether to raise student fees for Morris Recreation Center in order to expand and ad various new amenities to the center passed by a more than 20 percent margin.

Over the course of the three-day voting period last week, 2.050 students voted on the proposed measure, a record for such a span of time at the university. The $85.00 fee increase, which will go into effect starting in the Fall of 2016, more than doubles the current fee of $65.00, bringing the expense from the cheapest in the A&M system to one of the highest. This also marks the first incresase for the fee since 2003.

As a result of the new funding that will be pouring into campus rec, the next couple of years will see new additions to the rec center including a new 30,000 sq. ft. Outdoor MAC Court to accommodate soccer, volleyball, and special events programming and a 10,650 sq. ft. expansion for weight and cardio equipment. In addition, the new funding will allow for some remodeling to be done within the already existing portion of the rec center. A 2100 sq. ft. Activity Room for fitness programming and student activities, along with a 2200 sq. ft. Functional Testing space for personal training, TRX, kettle bell, training and stretching and another 2200 sq. ft. for additional rock climbing space and room to accommodate table tennis and special event programming will be included as well.

Added to this sizable expansion and reworkings, the additional funding will account for the replacement of some of the older workout machines and equipment currently in use in the rec center with newer “innovative and cutting edge” gear that will be under warranty.

Other than the larger hole in students’ pockets, the fee increase will also affect the denizens of A&M-Commerce directly. Namely, there will be more job opportunities made available in the center, which is already one of the top locations for student workers on campus. The hours of operation for the center will also be increased, with 12 extra hours per week during breaks and mini sessions and 2 extra hours per week during the summer months in addition to 4 extra hours of operation during both the fall and spring semesters.

SGA President Jackson Daily released a statement announcing the verdict on the proposal after the votes were tallied.

“On behalf of the Student Government Association, I want to thank everyone who voted in this important referendum,” he said before adding, “Go Lions.”