A few weeks ago I made plans to go up to Dahlonega to spend time with one of my sorority sisters. Although all my classes are located on the Gainesville campus, I pledged a sorority in Dahlonega, and I try to visit when I can. My sister was signed up to participate in an intramural cornhole game and since I didn’t have anything better to do I thought, why not?
Unfortunately, I hit a couple of roadblocks.
Gainesville students are required to pay a $5 to enter the Dahlonega Rec Center. To make an irritating matter worse, the Rec Center didn’t accept credit cards. Luckily, my sister had cash and was kind enough to pay my way in.
Meanwhile, other students were breezing past us into the building with a simple swipe of their UNG Student ID cards … the same UNG Student ID card I have.
Why do I have to pay an extra fee each time I visit Dahlonega when a $42 student activity fee is included in my tuition statement each semester?
I spoke with Derek Leonard, the Director of Recreational Sports in Dahlonega, who explained everything to me.
According to Leonard, the Rec Center fee is a separate fee assessed only to Dahlonega students in addition to the student activity fee charged to students on all campuses. Every Dahlonega student is charged an additional $83 Rec Center fee regardless of the number of credit hours they take.
Because students on all other campuses are not required to pay the additional fee, they must pay a $5 guest fee each time they enter the Rec Center.
While the student activity fee covers costs such as intramural sports fees and the salaries of Recreational Sports staff, the additional Rec Center fee pays for the bond on the building as well as utilities and maintenance.
The Rec Center is fully funded by student fees and does not receive funding from the state. In contrast, the Hugh Mills Physical Education Complex on the Gainesville campus does receive state funding.
I asked Leonard about intramural sports, and he told me that any UNG student can participate in outdoor intramurals on any campus.
“As long as you have paid a student activity fee, you are eligible for our programs,” said Leonard.
However, in order to be eligible for indoor intramurals in Dahlonega, a student must pay the additional $83 Rec Center fee.
Leonard said that Dahlonega faculty are also required to pay a fee to use the Rec Center. They can pay $12.50 per month if they are 12-month faculty or $15 per month if they are 10-month faculty. This offer is extended to their spouses and dependents if they are interested.
He also said community members can pay a fee of $225 per semester to use the Rec Center.
According to Leonard, UNG students who wish to use the facility on a regular basis can call the Dahlonega business office and request to pay the additional fee. Within 24 hours of payment, their student ID card will allow them access to the Rec Center.
After my conversation with Leonard, I felt a lot better. While before I felt like I was paying extra to enter the Rec Center, now I know I was doing my part to help fund something my student fees do not cover.