Admittedly, to most it isn’t. But we’re college students. We’re the eaters of ramen and the scroungers of sofa change. Ten dollars is something for us, and now we’re $10 shorter.
Charging for the use of our group fitness classes is an abrupt change from previous semesters, and the fee is intended to cover the $230 cost of each instructor’s certification.
The point of this certification, from the perspective of the University, is to give back to the instructors who donate their time and effort to the group fitness program.
They want their instructors to be able to use the skills they acquire while teaching at Auburn in the professional world, and the certification makes the transition cheaper and easier for instructors.
At first, this all makes perfect sense.
But when you dig into it, after you’re done digging into your empty pockets, the program is requiring participants to foot the bill for what amounts to a charitable act on the part of the University.
Instructors are already required to go through a lengthy, two-semester process of instruction to teach a class. When they finish, they’re comfortably competent, the University isn’t liable for any injuries, and no one can make an accusation of negligence.
No warning, other than a page in a tab on the Campus Recreation website posted on Aug. 3, was given to students prior to fall semester. On that page it says the charge is in place, not that it’s under review or open to comment.
Then there’s the pay. Instructors start at minimum wage and earn more based on how long they’ve been teaching. The highest-paid student instructor on staff makes $15 an hour after teaching two years.
Students working for the University can’t be considered well off, but we’re all in the same hole. However, they’re walking away with a certification paid for by other students.
Certification is a good thing, as is giving our students as many skills as possible to compete in the real world, but we feel that this is just another cost on top of a sizeable heap of costs that the student body must bear.
Auburn students are already required to chip in $200 per semester for the new Recreation and Wellness Center. We understand the University can’t build a new facility without generating the revenue to account for construction costs. But, still, it’s another fee for the heap.
Counter to this argument is the fact that many other SEC schools charge for the use of their facilities, some much more than others. The University of Georgia charges ten times that of Auburn.
We’re frustrated. If it’s not additional class fees, it’s a meal plan. If it’s not a meal plan, it’s a tuition increase. If it’s not a tuition increase, it’s an iClicker.
It seems like we can’t go one semester without shelling out more than we did the year before. At what point does another $10 break us?
When we’re asked for tens or hundreds of thousands, another $10 doesn’t sound like much.