The Recreation and Wellness Center Goes Virtual

Sean Serrano, Contributor

An empty recreation center stands on the intersection of Harder road and the walkway that leads to the student union buildings at California State University, East Bay. A place where physical activity can be achieved in between classes and brings a sense of community through various activities among students.
Like many services that are usually provided while being on campus, students are wondering what the Recreation and Wellness Center is doing during these times and where the fees are going.
The RAW, as it is commonly referred to, has been temporarily closed since March but still offers many virtual experiences that members may find useful during the quarantine. Health, wellbeing, and social connectedness are still achieved despite the weight room and basketball court.
Recurring virtual experiences have been offered by the Recreation and Wellness Center since in-person classes were moved online in mid-March. On Mondays the RAW hosts Mindful Minutes, an hour dedicated to de-stressing exercises such as journaling and stretching. Tuesday afternoons are drop-in’s with personal trainers for those that need some tips or guidance to achieve fitness at home.
Along with these weekly experiences, a once-a-month Trivia Night challenges participants’ knowledge in various categories utilizing Zoom and Kahoot.
Despite these opportunities for an online sense of community and guidance in fitness, students are concerned about the recreation fees that are being charged.
“I was hoping there would be some kind of discount because we can’t use the facilities,” Jeremy Soto, an avid RAW user says.
This is a common theme amongst several students interviewed. Students feel they should not be paying the same fees as usual because the facilities are not accessible and these virtual experiences are not equal to in person activities.
Flo Olney, director of student financial services, has stated that these fees will not be changed and there are no plans to change student fees at this time.
This will remain a struggle throughout this academic school year as CSUEB, like other State Universities, plans on remaining online during the spring semester as well. The RAW will remain closed until it is safe to reopen according to Alameda County Public Health.