The Aztec Recreation Center should be free to use for all students

by Mackenzie Boss, Staff Columnist

The Aztec Recreation Center, lovingly known as the ARC, should be free for all San Diego State students, not just those who live in specified residential housing on campus.

Many studies show that college students are under more stress and pressure now than they ever were before.

According to the Spring 2014 National College Health Assessment, 87 percent of students polled reported feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities.

Also, according to the the American College Health Association, only 43.6 percent of college students are reaching the recommended amount of exercise.

Working out has been proven to reduce stress.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps with stress relief by “pumping your endorphins, putting meditation in motion and improving your mood.”

Going to the gym also has various other benefits besides relieving stress.

For example, exercise has been linked to a higher GPA. According to a study done at Purdue University in Indiana, students who worked out at their gym at least once a week were shown to have a higher GPA than the students who worked out less or not at all.

With all the obvious and some not-so-obvious benefits to working out, students should not have to feel like they cannot take advantage of the great gym facility we have on our campus simply because we have to pay extra for it.

Any SDSU student who lives off-campus must pay the $19 monthly fee in order to be able to use the ARC and its amenities.

By charging all off-campus students a monthly rate, the gym becomes a place that not all students can afford.

According to the ARC website, as a member of the ARC you have access to the gym, indoor climbing wall, ARC indoor courts, Aztec Aquaplex, group fitness classes, tennis, racquetball, intramural sports leagues, bowling at Aztec Lanes, the track, ARC express and free equipment check out.

The ARC could still make money if all SDSU students received free memberships. It could continue to charge non-students for membership, as well as make students pay extra for the special programs they offer that are more costly.

Other California State University schools, such as Sonoma State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Chico State, have implemented this system and chosen to include their gym membership in their tuition price. Because of this, students do not pay an extra fee to use the gym.

SDSU should follow the model of some of its fellow state schools and also allow all of their students currently enrolled to have full access to the ARC free of any extra charge.

In turn, this will allow SDSU to give students a chance to relieve more stress and live a healthier, happier life.

SDSU does a great job promoting a healthy lifestyle and by making the gym more accessible to all students who live off-campus, not just the ones who can afford it, it would continue to reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle.