Where does the money go?

<em>In this bi-weekly series, </em>Imprint<em> sits down with the heads of different services provided to staff and students across campus to learn where the money is going, how each service helps students, and what is happening behind the scenes.</em>

The department of Athletics and Recreation is a service that no one can ignore. You hear about the football team getting killed, you see people walking out of PAC with their squash rackets, you feel infinitely guilty when you hear your friends talking about going to yoga before class while you stayed in bed.

We all have a vague idea of what this department offers, but what is it costing you?

Athletics and Recreation is funded in part by students via the Student Services Fee (SSF) ($134 per term), which is set by the Student Services Advisory Committee and also covers the Accessible Transportation Service for Students with Temporary Disabilities, Art Gallery, Health Services, Centre for Career Action, Counselling Services, Organizational &amp; Human Development, Student Security Service, and Student Success Office. Students cannot opt out of this fee.

This money accounts for $3.5 million of their $4.6 million operating budget. The department, which is a break-even organization, is responsible for generating the remaining $1.1 million, which is done through a variety of ways: user fees, rentals, sponsorships, lockers, equipment rentals, concessions, and memberships, said Roly Webster, director of Athletics and Recreation.

&ldquo;Through the fee [SSF], students are given free admission to all regular season games, access to all facilities including the conditioning room, weight room, open recreation gyms, recreation swim, recreation skate, squash courts, Warrior Zone, and studios,&rdquo; Webster said.

In addition, all student-run clubs, and societies, and residence floors can book the gyms, fields, and studios for free, and can book the arena and pool at a reduced rate.

The $3.5 million in SSF money also partially covers varsity sports. The remainder is covered by the department raised $1.1 million, the varsity portion of which is generated through camps, player fees, alumni donations, and team fundraising.

Athletics and Recreation also offers several other services, which can be used by purchasing a Shoe Tag for $50 per term. The Shoe Tag gives you unlimited access to all drop-in classes including: yoga, pilates, zumba, kick-boxing, and cardio workshops among others.

In addition to the drop-in classes covered by the Shoe Tag, Athletics and Recreation offers first aid training, and 24 instructional classes such as basketball development, figure skating, and belly dancing. Most classes cost between $5 and $25 with the exception of Warrior Hockey Camp, which costs $175.

Sports clubs are also offered to students. There are approximately 30 different types ranging from the equestrian club, to the Quidditch club, to the parkour club. Some of these are offered to students at no cost but most require a registration fee ranging between $5&ndash;$250.

The department also runs intermural leagues and tournaments for multiple sports such as basketball, soccer, hockey, and volleyball. Teams can register online for leagues and tournaments at the beginning of each term (not all leagues/tournaments are run every term). Each league and tournament requires a fee at the beginning of each term. Tournament fees range from $20&ndash;$50 per team, and intermural leagues cost between $25 and $375 per team.

Athletics and Recreation also employs over 250 students per term. They hire eight co-op students each fall and winter term as well as between three and five during the spring.

&ldquo;Overall we probably have over 1,000 students involved in various jobs and student leadership opportunities,&rdquo; Webster said.

Various job positions are offered to students in recreation, events, camps, facilities, strength and conditioning coaching and peer tutors. Over $750,000 of the operating budget goes toward student payroll.

The University of Waterloo contributes to the department in two ways. &ldquo;[UW donates] $125,000 towards athletic financial awards (student-athlete scholarships). They also cover custodial and most maintenance, the cost of which is values at approximately five per cent of our budget,&rdquo; Webster said. This money is recorded outside of the $4.6 million operating budget.


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