OSU students can now work out for free this summer at Dixon Recreation Center


Jess Hume-Pantuso

Kettlebell weights at Dixon Recreation Center. In previous summer terms, only enrolled students could utilize the Dixon facilities, but this year any student can work out for free.

Haley Stark, News Contributor

For the first time in Dixon Recreation Center’s history, all students are able to access the facilities free of charge during the summer term.

Since its opening in 1976, Dixon Recreation Center has been a place for students to socialize and exercise through intramural sports and workout classes. However, students not actively enrolled in summer classes previously couldn’t utilize the space during that term without paying for it.

According to Troy Snow, associate director of Recreational Sports, students enrolled in on-campus summer classes in past years would be given membership to Dixon through a $71.25 student fee. Students who weren’t enrolled in on-campus classes, including students in summer Ecampus classes, would have to pay $115 to gain access to the Rec Center for the term.

Snow attributed the change in rules to the advocacy of the Associated Students of Oregon State University. “Their leadership was essential to moving the change forward and Rec Sports staff worked to ensure it was operationally feasible for this summer’s implementation,” he said.

ASOSU President Matteo Paola said via email this change was something that the Student Fee Committee had been looking at since June 2021 but was pushed more heavily in this year’s SFC meetings due to its newfound economic feasibility.

“One of the things that made the change far easier to advocate for was the minimal cost to students if the summer fee was eliminated. Overall it would lead to a $17.53 increase per student per term for fall, winter and spring term — a 3.85% increase over the previous year — but because the enrollment numbers we were initially working with were an underestimation of actual numbers, students did not have to bear any of the cost of eliminating the summer fee at all,” Paola said.

Despite the new student-friendly elimination of summer fees, the message has not reached many of those who it aids. There are no indications at Dixon that summer membership is now free, though their website has recently been updated to reflect this.

Biology major Hannah Vogt visits Dixon regularly to use the mats and smaller weights, but was not initially aware of the change and believed she would be charged for the summer. Upon learning of it, she had a positive response.

“I love that,” Vogt said. “I have a lot more time in the summer so that’s great.”

Snow said he expects a similar response from other Dixon attendees moving forward, despite attendance remaining consistent with past years. However, he anticipates that this may change as summer term progresses and word gets around about the change.

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