A tight budget causes big changes for Simpson Fitness

A+tight+budget+causes+big+changes+for+Simpson+Fitness

by Laura Wiersema, staff reporter

Diminishing funds forced Simpson Fitness to make tough decisions about budget cuts within the last week.

Many people are unaware that Simpson Fitness is run and funded by intramurals. A budget intended for one program is currently covering two. When it lacks sufficient funds for both, a decision has to be made about which one needs the money more.

This is the sticky situation which Nicole Darling, director of intramurals, found herself in recently.

“We don’t have any funding for Simpson Fitness. We don’t have any funding to continue our intramurals, and we have all semester left,” Darling said. “I’ve been working really hard to come up with solutions on how we can make things work.”

As of right now, making things work means reducing the number of classes offered through Simpson Fitness and no longer paying outside instructors.

Last semester, the program was able to offer over 30 classes per week for students to take advantage of. The recent cuts will reduce that number to 24, eliminating six classes.

The main classes seeing reductions are the yoga and Zumba classes, both previously taught by instructors brought in from outside Simpson. Zumba, which used to have four classes per week, will now only be offered at 4:45 p.m. on Mondays. Also, a student rather than a professional will be teaching it.

Yoga will also have major changes, but in a different way. It is only losing one class per week and the instructor will continue to be a professional, but she won’t be paid from the intramurals budget. From now on, attendees will be required to give a $5 “donation” at each class they attend.

Though the $5 may mean less for faculty and alumni who attend the classes, that same payment is a major conflict for students. For those who attend regularly, it can quickly add up.

Annie Collins, who would attend yoga three times per week before, is now reconsidering it.

“Now, for sure, I’m not going to go to yoga,” Collins said. “If I still go three times per week, that’s $15 per week to go to yoga on my own campus.”

Collins also thought this new fee would hurt the attendance of the yoga classes overall. With the same amount of money it would cost to attend seven yoga classes on campus, students could get a discounted membership at the YMCA and have full use of those facilities, not just attend yoga.

Valeria Gonzalez, who had just started attending yoga classes, was shocked to hear about the $5 donation. She had wanted to start attending on a regular basis but was deterred by the news of the changes.

“I would have to go to the bank and get cash out of my bank account,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t usually have cash.”

Darling hopes these changes only have to be for this semester. It is unclear what will happen to Simpson Fitness in the future. If they can’t get sufficient funds for their programming there might be further cuts.

“We will try to make it work as long as we can,” Darling said. “But right now we’re at a point where we’ll just have to make do.”