ampus Recreation is not accepting any new applications or renewing alumni or community memberships put in effect on or after Jan. 1 of this year, according to a university official.
Steve Kintigh, director of Campus Recreation, said he has believed for some time that students would one day begin to drive out community and alumni members.
“The student body is growing and will continue to grow,” Kintigh said. “It was time to put guidelines in place.”
Kintigh said that the executive staff has met several times with the administration about the matter but whatever happens, the well-being of the students will be protected.
“Alumni will still receive a semester of membership free of charge,” Kintigh said.
Greg Nord, a facility team leader at the University Recreation Center and senior communication studies major, said the University Recreation Center is a private university facility that must comply with certain rules.
Campus Recreation has exceeded the permitted ratio of community-to-student memberships, therefore no new membership applications can be accepted, Nord said.
Kintigh said he does not know the exact number of community-to-student memberships but that the facility is at capacity.
Nord said he has worked at the University Recreation Center for two summers and the crowd that frequents the facility has remained the same.
“We are not cancelling any memberships, so I don’t anticipate seeing a downsize in the amount of people here,” Nord said.
Nord said he understands the capacity issue, so he is not upset that he will not be able to join the facility as an alumnus.
“Alumni always receive the first semester after they graduate free so that is not going to change,” Nord said.
Garett Essl, a senior entrepreneurial management major who uses the facility four or five times a week, said he plans to return to Fort Worth in a couple of years and would like to think that alumni would still be taken care of when they return to the area.
“This is where I planned on getting a membership,” Essl said. “I was looking forward to coming back to something besides just football games – a community that still feels like home.”
Essl said those who contributed to the school and its facilities with their tuition dollars should not be prohibited from using the University Recreation Center.
“I can see closing it to outside community members, but I don’t see why they would close it to the alumni base, especially those who are going to come back and support the school,” Essl said.
Ilissa Telle, a senior psychology major, said she plans to stay in Fort Worth after graduation, and if she were to join any gym, it would be the University Recreation Center.
“TCU should take care of its students after they graduate and not close their doors on us,” Telle said.
Kintigh said any decisions made about membership will keep the best interest of the alumni in mind.
“When you reach capacity you have to cap it somewhere,” Kintigh said. “We are doing our best for alumni to take precedence.”