Rec Center available to Stephens students, faculty

Some MU students have voiced concerns about overcrowding.
Katie Prince / Graphic Designer

Stephens College students and faculty will have access to MU's Student Recreation Complex as part of an agreement announced Monday morning, Stephens College spokeswoman Sara Fernandez said.

Staff and students from Stephens will be able to enroll in programs and classes offered at the recreation center. Fernandez said the deal offers several benefits for Stephens College.

"It's wonderful to have access to such a wonderful recreation center, and it also provides a great co-ed environment for our students," Fernandez said.

Recreation Services and Facilities Director Diane Dahlmann said Stephens President Dianne Lynch approached her about a possible agreement late last fall.

"This is an informal agreement; there is no contract," Dahlmann said. "Students, faculty and staff from Stephens will pay the same rate as MU students and MU faculty and staff on an individual basis."

Stephens freshman Ariana Franks said the agreement sparked a lot of excitement about the possibility of using the recreation complex.

"When one of my professors announced it in class this morning, we were all talking about it,” Franks said. “I think just about everyone in there said they were planning on using the Rec Center."

But many MU students are concerned about overcrowding problems in the recreation complex with the addition of Stephens students and faculty.

"I'm really not in favor of the agreement," MU senior Mallory Schillinger said. "It's already packed enough and it's already very hard to get a treadmill in our Rec Center."

MU junior Amber Pyse said a trip to the recreation complex is no longer worth dealing with the crowds for her.

"You go there for two hours and get about 20 minutes of a work out in, at least during the main hours," Pyse said. "I just avoid the Rec now because of the crowds."

MU junior Gabby Lowe said any overcrowding problems that might already exist at the recreation complex will be resolved as the semester progresses.

"The Rec may be really crowded right now, but it usually slows down as the semester goes on," Lowe said. "It's always like this at the beginning of the semester."

Dahlmann said she doesn't anticipate the agreement with Stephens, which has a total enrollment of 1,100, to aggravate overcrowding issues.

"The fact of the matter is that Stephens doesn't have a very large student body," Dahlmann said. "I'm not expecting it to overwhelm us, and it's certainly not going to have a negative impact on us or hinder us."

Fernandez said a shuttle service from Stephens to the recreation complex would be offered in the near future.

"We're in the process of getting a vehicle and marking it so that it's clearly a Stephens College vehicle," Fernandez said. "We don't know yet how many times a day the shuttle will run, but it will be enough to be convenient. We realize that parking can be on issue there."

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