New senate urges more rec funding

Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that urges the administration to increase funding to improve athletic recreational facilities and construct new facilities.

Spending · Senators vote to allocate funding Tuesday to improve recreational facitilies and create more space for students to work-out. - Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan

Spending · Senators vote to allocate funding Tuesday to improve recreational facitilies and create more space for students to work-out. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan

Senators hope money will go toward building a new recreational center or new recreational field in the The Village at USC, which is slated to be completed in 2019.

In January, more than 1,600 students signed a petition that called for more funds to be allocated to the Lyon Center and Recreational Sports. Greek Senator Logan Heley, one of the senators who sponsored the resolution, said these increased funds would allow for new athletic facilities to be built.

“We’re calling on the university to use the new University Village project to build a new recreation center and new field dedicated to recreation that will adequately accommodate the student body,” Heley said. “It’s time for USC to reassess the resources it allocates to student recreation to keep pace and stay ahead of other innovative universities.”

USG Director of Wellness Affairs Wiley Strahan and USG Assistant Director of Wellness Affairs A.J. Pinto authored the resolution. Strahan and Pinto collected the petition signatures and began working on a resolution to allocate more funds for students’ needs.

In the USG priority survey, which polled more than 500 students, the majority of students stressed the Lyon Center as their first priority for change on campus. Strahan said the resolution will be a much needed call for improvement.

“I have found that the areas in most disrepair are the places students spend most of their time, such as the Lyon Center, which is why I have been determined to get a resolution regarding student needs through the Senate,” Strahan said.

Those needs, according to the resolution, have drastically changed since the construction of the Lyon Center in 1989. At that time, nearly half of all undergraduates commuted and 90 percent of graduate students were commuters. Today, more students live on or near the campus compared to when the center was originally built.

“The Lyon Center was made when there was a significantly smaller amount of students living on campus,” Pinto said. “As USC increasingly becomes more of a residential college, the center has become increasingly outdated, and we must build a new center that accommodates the current student body.”

Pinto said there is no effective way to improve the current center; thus, the new project is crucial to solving the perceived problems of the Lyon Center and Recreational Sports on campus.

Furthermore, the fields on campus currently used for recreational sports are primarily devoted to the needs of the varsity and club athletes, often leaving other students without any facility to use. The resolution argues that a new space will alleviate stress and increase wellness among students.

USG also requests a meeting with university administrators, including Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett, Vice President for Real Estate Development and Asset Management Kristina Raspe and Senior Associate Director of Recreational Sports Justine Gilman.

Though the resolution only calls for a meeting, the authors want administrators to take action based on the requests of surveyed students.

“We’re really hoping that administrators will recognize the needs of our campus and will try harder to adequately accommodate those needs,” Pinto said.

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