Fat and frugal Ferris

Closing the URec on Saturdays was a poor budgeting decision

It’s big. It’s wooden. It’s a rotating eyesore. What am I talking about? I call it the Spinning Dessert Display of Doom that Westview has installed next to its sandwich bar this year. And it’s out to get you, right in the gut.

With all the Westview remodeling talk that has been up in the air, I found this to be a hilarious “addition.” But the point I will make is bigger than just a joke about a display at a cafeteria: It’s a budget issue.

There are countless examples of poor budgeting. One of the changes I’ve noticed doesn’t just affect our wallets, but our health. Sure, the Spinning Dessert Display of Doom is one example (rotating cake for some people is far more tempting than stationary cake), but I’m talking about a bigger issue. Why is the Student Recreation Center now closed on Saturdays?

I—like many others—don’t have much of a life during the week. I wake up, go to class, study, eat, more class, study, eat, work, and sleep. The problem is, all that sleeping and eating and no exercise is not exactly conducive to my health, not to mention the stress of school. Everyone knows (or should know) how toxic stress overload is to one’s health.

Exercise is a great way to relieve that stress by getting those endorphins pumping and by taking our minds off the many obligations we have, even if for a moment. Some of the obvious benefits include burning off those extra calories you took in (perhaps snagging a rotating chocolate chip cookie?) and tiring yourself out so you can actually sleep at night instead of laying awake thinking about all you have to do the next day.

So for me, weekends are that time, especially Saturdays. There’s no classes to worry about, and almost everyone can spare at least an hour on a Saturday. Now that the URec is closed Saturdays, that’s no longer an option. One could make the argument that we could exercise outside. But I think everyone has experienced a Big Rapids winter, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like being outside longer than I have to. On top of that, the outdoors doesn’t offer the recreational equipment that many students use.

Here’s another proposal: If you have to close URec one day to cut costs (which, as much money as we spend on non-student focused things, I think is ridiculous), why don’t they close it on Sunday? Sunday is a day of rest for many religious people, and for others it’s still a relaxing day of watching football, doing last minute homework, or driving back up to school from home. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

So maybe the spinning dessert display isn’t what gets me; maybe I just felt like poking fun at it. But the URec scenario is something worth bringing to attention. The URec website states: “Our staff is committed to improving the health and wellness of students, staff, and faculty members of Ferris State University.” A good start would be having the URec open when most students could actually utilize it.