Woes of the summer HPER policy: Contradictory messaging ignites unrest with student population

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By Richard Larson, Opinion Editor

Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway Access through the turnstiles during the summer is limited to students enrolled in classes
Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway
Access through the turnstiles during the summer is limited to students enrolled in classes

To those taking pride in their physical health, many are left at a loss over the summer.
The facilities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s School of Health and Physical Education are only available to students taking summer class, and only from the start to the end date of the academic courses.
Some ask how this is possible, as UNO has recently been promoting the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. One of those dimensions is physical health.
From a student perspective, does UNO only support their wellness program nine months of the calendar year?
Is it the operating and staffing costs for the summer? Hours are already minimized for the summer months and staffing does not seem to change much.
Perhaps students are not paying enough in tuition and fees throughout the year to be able to support the short summer?
Whatever the reason, it is ridiculous to parade the fitness facilities around as a benefit of being a Maverick, then hearing you are not able to continue your healthy ambitions for a couple months.
Take a trip down memory lane. I am sure we have all experienced that awkward time when we were getting ready for a great workout, just days after finals.
Dressed to the nines of “Biggest Loser” chic, ready to make gains, protein shake pumping power through your blood stream, music getting the adrenaline going and red light. The turnstile does not lower and you glance over to the front desk at the student worker, confused.
That will forever be the moment where your dreams of keeping a summer beach bod go out the window for the next few years, and realities of dishing out even more cash set in.
Empty those pockets…again
For $40 a month, you can use the gym you already belong to. Plus, the hours have been reduced. Not sure where that adds up? That is because it probably does not.
The only way out of this letdown is to enroll for summer class. What’s that? Your summer class is only a five-week session? Looks like you will be opting for the paid membership for the duration of the summer – after paying tuition.
Think you are clever by taking an online class all summer long? Guess again. Sure you will pay the “Distance Education Fee,” but that does not include services on campus.
There are other fees associated with campus services that you will not pay with an online class, but a fee for taking class away from campus sparks some curiosity.
I am one of the biggest supporters of UNO. Like many, I love the campus and what it has to offer us as students develop over the years of early adulthood. But this is one of those eyesores on UNO’s policy book that will continue to cause students to have less respect for this academic institution.
Will the policy ever change? That is up to UNO. If they fully support their Eight Dimensions of Wellness program, they will come to the realization of this contradictory issue. If they want students to pay more, how does that align with the financial dimension of wellness?
Until the first day of classes, try not to let your fitness goals diminish, as you look away from UNO’s help to stay well.

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