Activity Center slams door on own students

If six people read this column, that will be five more than there were in the basketball gym one recent Saturday evening.

And because of the Activity Center’s restrictive entrance policy, I’m not surprised it was so empty.

I took a full load of classes last semester, but I can’t play basketball.

I’m signed up for a full load in the fall, but I can’t use the racquetball courts.

I live at Waterview and am still forced to pay rent over the summer, but I can’t hoist a single dumbbell.

I work in a campus research lab, but I’m not allowed to set foot in the Activity Center.

Anyone seeing a pattern?

The moment I’m not enrolled in a current class, I’m as forgotten as last year’s Stanley Cup winners.

As soon as I’m not a “current student,” I must pay $61 to use the facilities of my future alma mater.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand we have to pay the student employees through student fees or membership, but isn’t it an indication that the Activity Center is over-employed if the sole person shooting hoops that one Saturday night was a student employee? On duty?

He’s the only person this side of Shaq who gets paid to miss free throws.

If the Activity Center has the budget to pay more employees than it needs, then naturally the entrance fee is too high.

The $61 it costs to use the athletic facilities here on an occasional basis is the price of more than 600 packets of Raman. It’s more than seven months of the average Ethiopian’s salary. Shoot, it’s one and a half tanks of gas.

If I didn’t want to shell over the kind of money that would buy 1,500 sticks of Juicy Fruit, I could have taken advantage of the Activity Center guest policy.

I could have paid $5 for a one-time pass. Or better yet, I could have gotten a current student to “sponsor” me and only been out $2.

But there’s a catch, there’s always a catch.

With my day pass, I wouldn’t have had access to the basketball gym.

That’s like buying a pass to Six Flags and not being allowed on the rides.

It’s for safety, I was assured, that community members aren’t allowed to use the courts. They wouldn’t want a scrawny white boy like me starting any fights with the scores of harmless “current students” that use the gym oh so often.

As I walked out of the Activity Center that day, the cold hand of irony came down and slapped me in the face when I read the banner announcing the judo competition taking place in the main gym.

My propensity for fighting excluded me, a Comet Card-carrying UTD student, from using the gym, and yet those whose sole purpose is fighting get access. And a big banner.

That makes about as much sense as having a Love Jack adorn a university campus.

But then again, the Activity Center isn’t here to make sense

It’s here to make money.

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