On the backs of those who’ve gone before

On the backs of those who’ve gone before

Photo credit: Laura Fox

This past fall I had the opportunity to take a tour of the unfinished Student Life and Wellness Center and write about it for the Review. I was quick to catch the vision and was caught up in the excitement of bowling allies, basketball courts and rock walls.

My imagination leaped ahead to the day that I’d help move the newspaper to the new newsroom, just down the hall from the massage chairs. Ah the massage chairs. What a beautiful use of my five years of student fees.

But those hazy rose-colored visions of the near future dimmed when I thought of my five years. Yes, I’m a super senior. And fortunately for me I will not become a super-super senior. I graduate this semester. Unfortunately for me I will never get the chance to do much more than help move the paper.

But, I had the silver lining of a “dramatically reduced alumni fee” to access the gloried gym and wellness amenities. At least there was that. At least the university recognized the burden of those five years of student fees I’d paid. How kind of them.

Yes, the famed reduced alumni fee. I hesitate not to say that I was led to believe that the fee would be something like $15, $20 maybe, at most $30. I mean with the community asked to pay $65 a semester, an alumni fee must be at least halved. Right?

Not quite.

It turns out that “reduced fee” is reduced five whole bucks. That’s right soon to be graduates, recent alumni (of the past 10 or so years) you’ll be able to save a whole fiver in a four-month period of time.

Golly, what a gift of appreciation. I can feel the warmth and gratitude for sacrificing my sanity and health by working endless call-center jobs and eating all those peanut butter sandwiches and skipping meals so that I could pay my tuition and fees.

I guess I could pay that $60 a semester fee. I mean it is a top of the line gym, the very envy of local fitness centers. Except, it may be more practical over the next few years as I bare the brunt of my student loans that I go to, oh I don’t know, any of the other gyms, such as Gold’s Express or Planet Fitness and pay my $10 a month, which would add up to $40 a semester.

How quickly the love affair between UVU and its alumni fades. But the alumni aren’t the only ones baring the shift in the financial conscious of UVU. The parking structure attached to the Life and Wellness Center was promised to be free on evenings to help alleviate the cost of attending the gym, but even that promise has fallen by the wayside.

I suppose an argument in the investment of the future is in order here. I mean we really should care about the quality of education of future UVU students. And of course that includes taking a fiscally invested interest in paying for their ability to blow off steam on the rock wall before a big test or making sure the next generation of Wolverines learn to handle the stress of university life through knocking down a few pins on those shiny new lanes.

Who am I to question the integrity of the administration to build on the backs of those who have gone before for the fun and frivolity of those to come without giving the promised dues to those who have come and gone?

You’re welcome future Wolverines for our 10 years of student fees. Have fun climbing our rock wall for free, enjoy those massages on us, and no worries I’m sure you’ll send positive vibes back to us while you’re meditating in the reflection center. It means a lot.

Nicole Shepard is an Integrated Studies major at UVU. She is emphasizing in Writing Studies, Journalism and Peace and Justice Studies, and will graduate spring 2014. Nicole is hoping to work in cause journalism and advocate for restorative justice practices. She has lived in Europe three times she is also considering graduate school in the UK. Nicole is the news editor for the UVU Review.

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