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Intramural fields funding permanently cut

The soccer goals students pass from the main entrance on their way to class every day will soon be taken down and no longer maintained. With review of the use, costs and student feedback, funding for the intramural fields will be suspended starting end of spring 2015.
In 2006 the on-campus fields were approved with the hope of increasing students activities and enhancing involvement opportunities. Over the past three to four years the Office of Student Involvement has worked to increase on-campus intramural programming with events such as flag football, soccer, and capture the flag; however, the desired response from the student body has not followed.
“The hourly breakdown did not justify the cost of $40,000 a year which could be spent on something else.” said Kevin Alvarez, recreation intramural intern for OSI. “We really only use the field from June to about September or October depending on the weather. The field itself is not level and, while that’s okay for flag football, it affects soccer play which is the sport with the highest turn out and involvement.”

“When we broke it down by hour we were paying about $600 an hour to maintain the field year round when we really only used it for about four months out of the year.” said Recreation Coordinator. Julia Conrad. “Off-campus facilities are about $62 an hour and provide a much higher quality of field.”

“We actually get a greater turn out when we have off-campus activities. The facilities are better and since we are a commuter campus, having events at local city places might make them more accessible to some participants.” Alvarez said.

“This option started by asking ‘is this how we want it to be?’ We were not seeing the level of involvement we desired.” said Director of Student Development Michelle Mcllvoy. “This being Juila Conrad’s first year, we were able to look at this with a fresh pair of eyes. In 2013 we considered a turf replacement, but that would cost roughly $1 million.”

Funding for the fields comes from requests to the Services & Activities fee committee. The average request for field maintenance from the last several years is roughly $35,000. Now $7,000 will be requested for the renting of off-campus facilities. The land itself will be maintained like any of the other open fields on campus. The goal posts will be dismantled and stored away while the benches will be moved to the trails on campus.

“What we really want people to know is that this is not the end of intramural sports.” Mcllvoy said. “Events can still take place on campus such as capture the flag, and some basketball events. We will just not have a place for certain field sports now.”

Recreation Coordinator Juila Conrad can be reached for questions, concerns and comments by phone at 360-546-9089 or by email at juilia.harmer@vancouver.wsu.edu.

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