Why do STU students get charged at the Currie Center?

(Alex Dascalu/AQ)

The Currie Center has been a staple of the University of New Brunswick campus since its opening in October of 2011. However, St. Thomas University students are not able to get access to it without fees. Some students at St. Thomas think students should have free access as well.

Third year STU student Will Kennedy-Mills, who uses the J.B O’Keefe Fitness Center, believes this isn’t fair.

“We share the same library, the same bookstore, we share a lot of stuff on our campuses. So I don’t think it’s fair at all to charge [STU students] for the Currie Center,” he said.

“I think it should probably be lower demand. I’d say roughly $20 or $25 [a month] would be fair.”

The base fees are $50 for one month, $167 for four months or $419 annually, the same as a UNB alumni.

UNB director of recreation services Gansheng Xu believes there is no problem with the pricing.

“I think it’s fair,” Xu said.

“We treat St. Thomas as part as UNB students … I believe among the University level there is an annual transfer from St. Thomas to UNB a variety of different services such as the library … but since the building of the Currie Center, the university will no longer be able to provide [it for free] its own students.”

In 2010, prior to the opening of the Currie Center, UNB and STU students had free access to all the services provided at the previous gym, the Lady Beaverbrook Gym on UNB’s campus.

Since the opening of the building, Xu said the university was no longer able to provide their own students with free access. A $150 service fee was added onto UNB students’ tuition for the use of the gym. The same offer was made to STU, but Xu said the offer was declined.

STU was unable to comment by print time.

“From that point on, we [thought] we would treat them as someone that has nothing to do with UNB. But we feel because our campuses are so close to each other, we would treat them as a friend of ours.”

More than $20 million was donated by Dr. Richard Currie himself to the building of the Currie Center.

The J.B O’Keefe Fitness Center was a donation made to the university from the O’Keefe family. Because of this, full-time STU students have the benefit of not having to pay extra on their tuition to have full access.

Eric Moffatt, the STU athletics marketing and event coordinator, said this makes it easier for students to train at a reliable spot without having to pay.

“It was a donation made by the O’Keefe family that would guarantee that students wouldn’t have to pay to use an athletic facility to pursue their strength and conditioning or cardio or those kinds of things,” Moffatt said.

“So there actually is no fee for athletics in terms of the fees that are paid between tuition.”

Moffatt believes it isn’t necessary to pay a fee for the Currie Center where there is no charge and STU students can go to the J.B O’Keefe Fitness Center, along with having intramural sports for students to participate in.

“If you’re looking at cost effective … I mean, there is no additional cost to their tuition to use the J.B O’Keefe Fitness Center.”