Though the university plans to build an additional fitness center in The Village at USC, the Undergraduate Student Government is working to levy support for improvements to Lyon Center and Recreational Sports.
Since being posted Tuesday, a USG petition that asks the university to allocate more resources toward the Lyon Center and Recreational Sports has received 1,400 student signatures as of Thursday at 6 p.m.
A USG survey conducted in the fall showed that undergraduate students care more about improving the Lyon Center than any other issue. The Lyon Center, built in 1988, had its second floor renovated in 2008 as well as the basketball courts and locker rooms renovated in 2011.
Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Jackson said the university will build a new fitness center in The Village.
“The reality is that the Lyon Center has nearly 300,000 student, faculty and staff visits per semester,” Jackson said. “This is why the university has plans to construct an additional new fitness center in the University Village when it is revitalized in the next several years.”
USG President Mikey Geragos said the petition will be used as USG lobbies for improvements to Lyon Center equipment and for a large fitness center in the Village.
“We definitely need more athletic space and the most viable location for that is the new University Village,” Geragos said. “Until then, we will advocate for a comparably-sized gym in the UV and advocate for the equipment to be fixed and be in top-notch quality. We’re not going to ask to expand the Lyon Center when a new gym’s coming.”
Though plans for the Village, which will replace the UV, have yet to be released by the university, sources familiar with the project have said demolition alone is not likely to occur for at least one or two years.
Senior Director of Recreational Sports Justine Gilman attributes the lack of recreational sports space to the growing number of residential students, which in turn increases the pool of students eligible to participate in RecSports.
“The club sport program has grown in the last couple years, probably even 20 percent,” Gilman said. “There is a limited amount of space and resources.”
The petition received many signatures when it was first posted on Tuesday, with about three people signing it per minute during the first few hours.
“In one day we got a little over 1,000 responses,” USG Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Arkfeld said. “The fact that we were able to get that many responses in such a short amount of time just proves the importance of the issue at hand.”