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St. Thomas University students will have to dig deep into their pockets if they want to take part in intramural sports this school year.
The University of New Brunswick is charging STU students $50 a semester for a recreation pass to play intramural sports. And it will cost an additional $100 to play intramural hockey.
“This is outrageous,” said Scott Saunders, a fourth-year student at STU. “I’ve spent all my money on tuition and books so I couldn’t afford it.”
Until this year, St. Thomas students could join UNB intramural programs for free. However, with the opening of the Currie Center, the university’s state-of-the-art athletics building, that agreement has changed.
Mike Eagles, STU athletic director, confirmed UNB has added the fees for STU students to help pay for the Currie Center.
The Currie Centre offers two full-size recreation gymnasiums, a strength and cardio centre, conference and meeting rooms and a human performance laboratory.
This all cost UNB a hefty $62 million. So far the university has only paid for 80 per cent of that.
UNB students had their tuition hiked $150 to help pay off the deficit. The fee covers intramurals, clubs, the pool and other activities at the Currie Center.
“The St. Thomas administration was approached with the same deal UNB students received,” said Tom White, the intramural sports co-ordinator at UNB. “It didn’t really seem fair to charge the UNB students to use the facility and not the STU students.”
But St. Thomas rejected the $150 tuition increase, leaving students out of the loop for intramural sports.
“Even if I had the money, I don’t think I would have paid it,” Saunders said. “I didn’t know we were playing intramural hockey in the Currie Center this year.”
In the meantime, STU’s athletic department is taking steps so students don’t have to go to UNB to pay the fee, while house representatives are trying to set up their own intramurals for STU students.
“We’re starting a four-on-four basketball league,” said Harrington Hall sports rep Bronté James. “It’s going to be a 10 week program, with the last three weeks being championships. It’s free for students and I think it will be fun if you want to go out.”