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McComas recreational facility policy outlined

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 13 - November 19, 1998

The opening of the McComas Student Health and Fitness Center this fall has prompted several questions about faculty and staff members'--and their dependents'--use of recreational facilities in McComas and War Memorial halls.
According to William W. Campion, director of the Department of Recreational Sports, "War Memorial Hall operates much in the same way as in the past. Faculty and staff members--as well as students--can use the facility as they always have." However, budget constraints have forced a decrease in hours the building is open, although the Hokie Gym has been re-opened from 6:15-8:15 a.m. to accommodate the faculty and staff.
One significant policy change that affects the dependents of faculty and staff members is related to building security. "We have an ongoing effort in place to tighten the security of War Memorial Hall after 5 p.m. to prevent unauthorized use by individuals who are not university affiliated or sponsored," Campion said.
As part of that effort, people using the recreational facilities must now present an official university identification card, and Campion's department has elected to use the Hokie Passport for that purpose. "There is much less opportunity for this card, which includes a picture of the owner, to be misused or used by people other than the owner. We can swipe the card with an electronic device that tells us whether the holder is a dependent or not and whether the card is currently valid," he said.
Campion noted, however, that while spouses and dependents 16 and older must obtain the card, it will not be required for younger dependents, who must be accompanied by their sponsor.
A one-time $15 fee will be charged by the Hokie Passport office as a processing fee for the card, not a fee for using the facilities. "None of that money goes to the Department of Recreational Sports," he said.
Before obtaining the passport, dependents must present a picture-identification card, such as a driver's license, to the Department of Recreational Sports, which is located in 142 McComas. The office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
During the current academic year, Campion said, the recreational facilities in McComas Hall are available only to students. His department is collecting figures on student use, and a determination will be made in May 1999 about faculty and staff access to the new facility. "At that time we will analyze the use statistics to determine if there is capacity for faculty and staff members without crowding the students out. Since student comprehensive fees were increased to retire the debt and since McComas Hall was constructed for students, they have top priority in using the facilities," he said.
Preliminary data indicate that nearly 7,100 students use the recreational facilities in McComas Hall each week. "And students are still finding us," Campion said.
Policies for using both War Memorial and McComas halls are posted at the control desk in each building. Questions about using the facilities should be directed to the Department of Recreational Sports at 1-6856.