Senate talks campus rec expansion
Senate hears about possible recreational expansion
Grand Valley State University’s Student Senate heard concerns regarding the limited Campus
Recreation space and physical training equipment available to a growing population of students at
its Sept. 12 meeting.
The Fieldhouse, which was built in 1996, is 45,000 square feet; the recommended size of a facility for a student body, such as that at GVSU, is estimated to be around 250,000 square feet. Since
1996, GVSU’s student population has grown by about 67 percent, from 14,662 to this year’s
number of 24,477.
Laura Kennett, associate director of Campus Recreation, presented the senate with the results of a
user-and-needs assessment regarding recreational facilities on campus.
“People are waiting for long periods of time for equipment or simply leaving,” Kennett said. “That’s
not the kind of atmosphere or experience we want to provide.”
In order to fix this predicament, it was explained that Campus Recreation will be looking into long-
term solutions, such as expansion and development, as well as short-term goals like working with
surrounding gyms and GVSU affiliated apartment complexes.
“The goal of Campus Recreation is to create enough space and services to enrich the Grand Valley
experience for students,” Kennett said.
She added that the situation requires a keen eye due to the increasing amount of K-12 education
with a fitness-based curriculum and the ever present risk of obesity in America. At the meeting, it
was also pointed out that it has been predicted that 80 percent of adults will be overweight by
2030, and 50 percent will be obese.
“The more we have available and easily accessible, the more we can prevent this,” Kennett said.
“We, as a committee, will be meeting to discuss our options and create a solution.”
Also at the meeting, Student Senate mentioned that it will have a table set up in the Kirkhof Center
lobby during homecoming week where students can bring t-shirts from high school or other
universities and trade them in for a free GVSU t-shirt.
“You aren’t in high school anymore and you don’t go to a different college so you should be
wearing Grand Valley clothing,” said Emma Moulton, vice president of public relations for Student
The senate will also be hosting a Twitter and Facebook competition for free tickets to see Steve
Aoki at this year’s Homecoming celebration.
“For the Twitter contest all you need to do is re-tweet our tweet about the concert, and we will pick
two winners through Twitter,” Moulton said. “We will be making a Facebook event, and if you reply
as ‘going’ you will be entered in the contest, and we will be picking out two winners from that.”
Student Senate also appointed Arielle Leipham to the Political Affairs Committee, Danielle Pickett to
the Campus Affairs Committee and Cody Rivers to the Public Relations Committee.
Senator Jorden Simmonds received the Immediate Impact Award, an honor that shows he started
the year off strong and made an impact with senate work. Senator Demario Bell was also nominated
for the award.
The next Student Senate meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the Pere Marquette room of the