The UC Davis physical education department is in talks with Campus Recreation to implement participation fees for some of its classes.
Students currently have unlimited access to P.E. courses, which are paid for through registration fees. However, certain courses offered under the P.E. department use facilities operated by Campus Recreation, which is where the department is looking to apply an activities fee.
The fee will likely be administered in fall 2009 and will only be applied to classes taught in the group exercise room and on the rock wall in the Activities and Recreation Center. Actual costs and method of collection have yet to be determined.
Charging a participation fee for some P.E. classes is something that should have been implemented when the ARC opened in 2004.
As a facility that does not receive any state funding, the ARC is completely funded by student fees and was not intended to operate academic courses, said Campus Recreation Director John Campbell. Classes offered at the ARC through the Fitness and Wellness Center already require a student fee; it makes sense that P.E. courses that use this same equipment would also charge students.
However, Campus Recreation and the P.E. department need to be clearer as to why these fees will be implemented and where they will be applied, such as whether the money will be used strictly toward operating costs, or whether the decision to charge an activities fee was made just to create a consistent payment policy for all students.
Another issue the P.E. department needs to consider is the impact that a fee implementation will have on course registration. P.E. classes like rock climbing, which often fills to maximum capacity by Pass 1 registration, are already in high demand. Once fees are applied, it is likely that more students will instead choose to register for the classes offered without charge. The department should compensate by offering more free classes.