The campus branch of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees is concerned, if not surprised, by a new fee for users of the Olympic Oval running track.
A $2 fee for its use will not be strictly implemented until September 2004, but it is part of a new access system in effect since an electronic card scanner was installed in January. The fee will apply only to users of the Olympic Oval who do not have a campus recreation membership. Students pay a campus recreation membership fee with their tuition, and will only be required to pay the $2 fee when not attending classes.
"Due to underfunding of all faculties and departments, they're looking at how they can, in effect, tax the university community and other departments," said Dan Tilleman, AUPE Local 52 Chair.
Tilleman added he is not blam- ing the Olympic Oval administration.
Olympic Oval Customer Service Supervisor Megan Kelly said the fee is part of University of Calgary President Dr. Harvey Weingarten's "big call to all departments to look for ways of generating revenue."
"Because it does impact fac- ulty and staff as opposed to students, it gives them an opportunity to judge whether [a campus rec- reation membership] is a good investment or not," noted Kelly. "Historically, yes, the Olympic Oval's been an open facility, but we had to look at that to know who's using our building."
Kelly could not comment on whether the fee is being implemented to battle budget cuts, or where the revenue generated from the fee will go.
"This is a symptom of the overall underfunding of the university," said Tilleman.