Reading Time: 2 minutes

Students aren’t members

Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff

AS A STUDENT at the University of Ottawa, I like to take advantage of the free classes offered at the Sports Complex. On Fridays I attend the Zumba classes, while I relax with an hour of yoga on Sundays.

However, this week I came to a startling realization: While the Sports Complex allows students to use its facility, programs, and free classes, we aren’t actually considered members of the gym.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I had a lot of deadlines to make and readings to do for an assignment. Completely stressed, I trekked down King Edward to the Sports Complex for some yoga, figuring I would stretch, relax my mind, and then get back to work.

I arrived around 2:35 p.m., and there was already a waiting list for the class that started at 3 p.m. I was told to return at about 2:55 p.m. to see if I could get in.

I was a bit confused—how could there be a waiting list? Do people usually sign up for classes and then decide not to go? I asked the people at the desk and got the following response: “There are 15 spots for students and 15 spots reserved for members. By 2:55 p.m., if no more members show up, we will start taking people from the waiting list.”

When I asked why that was so, I was told that members paid a lot more than students and were complaining there were never any spots for them in the classes offered.

My response—get there early like the rest of us. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most relaxing yoga session I’ve had in my lifetime.

Students pay about $202 for access to the Sports Complex, while members of the community can pay anywhere between $275–523 for a year. So yes, they pay more, but I don’t think that should give them special treatment over students. If you really want to do a quick calculation, take a look at how many students pay for gym “membership” and don’t use any of the services, yet the fees are mandatory in their ancillary fees.

Even if we focus on the full-time students at the University of Ottawa, I would bet anything that the money accumulated would amount to more than the funds the Sports Complex receives from community members.

Last time I checked, I held a student membership. I may not pay as much as some random person from Sandy Hill, but that shouldn’t mean I can’t get in to a free class. Students have to get there half an hour early to ensure they get a spot, so why should members be able to show up five minutes before the class and still get in before those who have been waiting?

I always assumed the Sports Complex was part of the university, and that students were their main customers. But I guess if you pay less than $275, none of that really matters.