Stott Center concerns are mounting

No student is under the illusion that the Stott Center’s departmental management runs a state-of-the-art facility. More often than not, machines are damaged, popcorn and litter from previous events are strewn throughout the building and support staffers are conspicuously absent. Many students this year have complained to the Vanguard about the Stott Center’s intramural program. Beginning with promises of organized sporting events, the program has thus far left many students empty handed. Students are asked to sign up at the beginning of the year for intramural sports they are interested in, but all too often they are never contacted. Upon investigation, they are given excuses such as lost lists and incorrect event postings.

Adding insult to injury, the Winter 2002 Class Schedule is an astonishing disappointment. Only two evening physical education classes will be offered. This is a disservice to all students of Portland State University. In addition, a more strict fee policy in winter quarter will disallow any refunds of PE class fees, even when a student drops the class. A similar situation at a commercial gym would send fitness buffs to the cancellation department.

Of course, students do not have this option with the Stott Center. “Membership” is deducted from PSU students’ tuition and fees, regardless of their complaints. Students have to accept the lackluster gymnasium, workout rooms and swimming pool, despite limited hours, shrinking class schedules, ever-changing sign-in sheets and clocks that actually do not tell “time.” We accept it because it is all we have and it is ours.

Or is it ours? The Stott Center is already accommodating St. Mary’s Academy in our swimming pool and the Fire Department in our workout and circuit weight room. Now with the Memorial Coliseum slated for destruction, the Stott Center will play host to some of the events formerly held there. We fear this will severely limit the access and hours for student athletics and recreation in an already overloaded facility.

We are the largest school in Oregon; the athletic facilities and their management do not adequately meet the needs of over 20,000 students. What is the athletic department doing now, and what will they do in the future, to ensure that student access is a priority and organization is paramount?