ARC membership at its highest since 2008

by Luke Henning

Memberships at the Aztec Recreation Center has reached its highest point since 2008—with 17,000 enrolled, Recreation Director Mark Zakrzewski said to the Associated Campus Life Council last Wednesday during their biweekly meeting.

In just one year, ARC membership enrollment had a 33 percent increase since last year, Zakrzewski said.

The ARC management is not entirely sure yet why membership is increasing at such a fast rate but Zakrzewski says he thinks it is mainly being caused by increased enrollment at San Diego State and financial recovery from the 2008 recession.

Though the drastic increase in membership has provided the ARC with more financial resources, the sheer speed of the increase has become a new challenge for the ARC as it works to keep up with demand.

The ARC, which includes the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, currently employs more than 400 students and may have to increase its staff further to accommodate its new members.

One of the main changes that is being considered is a plan to repurpose the racquetball courts because of their low usage in proportion to the amount of space they occupy.

The ARC is also considering regulating use of the gym facilities by large sports teams to help open space for other students and to avoid discouraging potential members.

During the presentation Hassan Abdinur the representative for the Campus Community Commission asked Zakrzewski about recent criticism of the ARC’s paid membership model.

“Wouldn’t it be better for all students to have access to the ARC?” Abdinur asked

The pay model forces the ARC to constantly adapt to the needs of the student body, Zakrzewski said.

“If we let our facility get outdated we start losing our jobs, so there is a bit more incentive to coordinate with the students,” Zakrzewski said. “Really students will get the best deal in the long run.”

Despite its growing pains the ARC is currently working closely with the Recreation and Wellness Commission to attract more students to the facilities.

“One of our goals is to explain to students how recreation can contribute to student success,” Student Recreation and Wellness Commissioner Tyler Aguilar said.