Forcing all Canterbury students to fund the gym

October 4th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The University of Canterbury announced:

The University Council has approved a four percent across-the-board increase in domestic tuition fees for 2013.

The University’s student services levy will also increase in 2013 from $635 to $699 but, for the first time, will include gym membership (which currently costs $120 per year).

Surveys have consistently identified the Health Centre and Recreation Centre as services highly valued by students and we have responded to this feedback by incorporating gym membership into the student services levy.

With gym membership included in the levy, students will no longer have to pay an upfront fee to use the gym.

So 100% of students will be forced to fund a gym, which a minority will use. With 19,000 students, the average student wouldn’t be able to use it even once a week – yet are forced to pay for it.

Also it is a naked money grab. The fee used to be in fact $99 for those who joined in February, and now instead each student will pay $64 more in fees.

Also many students may choose to exercise at another gym, or by going running or cycling. Why are they forced to subsidize the gym?

Here’s a novel idea. Let each student keep their own money, and they can decide for themselves what to spend it on.

This just reinforces for me that most universities have little fiscal discipline, and mis-use their income for non-core activities. Good luck convincing the Government you need more money.

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12 Responses to “Forcing all Canterbury students to fund the gym”

  1. alloytoo (571 comments) says:

    A substantial number of students should flash mob the gym requesting access or refund.

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  2. bij (66 comments) says:

    here is a novel idea: choose another university if you don’t like how a particular one spends money.

    i didn’t think that some of Otago’s capital investments were so great at the time, but I wasn’t annoyed enough to move to CHCH.

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  3. tas (641 comments) says:

    I was forced to pay $80 per year for a health levy while at Canterbury, despite already having my own GP and never once going to the health center. It really pissed me off.

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  4. my 2 cents (1,091 comments) says:

    yeah DPF the same thing applies to those who send their kids to private or the coming charter schools too.

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  5. annie (539 comments) says:

    Surveys have consistently identified the Health Centre and Recreation Centre as services highly valued by students and we have responded to this feedback by incorporating gym membership into the student services levy.

    Love the doublespeak.

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  6. wtfunz (133 comments) says:

    DPF – I share your view however you surely must have missed the “travel bill’ article nicely buried by the rag Herald today. The xtra charge probably isn’t for the Gym at all but so they can increase their travel spend. They clearly got “pissed” at the thought of Auckland Uni spending $109.2 million on travel costs over the last 4 years whilst Canterbury could “ONLY” spend $24 mill.
    The total spend by our Universities was $329.1 Million i.e – over $80 million a year. Is it any wonder our taxes are so high and our kids end up 10’s of $1000’s in debt for student loans.

    Everyone is obviously funding “the people who caren’t” to swan about all over the world like pigs at the trough.

    DFP – I agree with you 100% about funding for gyms and an individuals choice of spending but $80 million a year is a whole lot of money which could have been much better applied to things like the DPB, WINZ or even better, Treaty settlements.

    For those that missed it the spend per uni on TRAVEL is as follows:-
    Auck $109 mill
    Otago $68.4 mill
    Massey $53.5 mill
    AUT $27.1 mill
    Canterbury $24 mill
    Waikato $22.3 mill
    Victoria $18.7 mill
    Lincoln $5.9 mill

    I would love to see an actual reporter at the Herald compare these figures to similar Universities throughout the world but I realise this is just a pipe dream as there aren’t any real reporters there – only mouth pieces for Liebor, the greens, the Maoris and any left wing fringe!!!

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  7. simonway (387 comments) says:
    Surveys have consistently identified the Health Centre and Recreation Centre as services highly valued by students and we have responded to this feedback by incorporating gym membership into the student services levy.

    Love the doublespeak.

    What doublespeak?

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  8. MT_Tinman (3,249 comments) says:

    Given the university is losing $100,000 per week I’d suggest an extra $64 per student with the reward of gym membership is not too bad.

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  9. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    The Canterbury Uni gym is very well attended with many students going more than once a week. Whatever happened to the common good? All this selfishness..I’ll pay for my little bit..so distasteful , so small familish..

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  10. kevin_mcm (152 comments) says:

    they are not the only ones doing this – I am an extramrual Massey student and get hit for student fees for services that I will never use. Tried objecting and got the runaround. Just becomes another cost of stufy.

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  11. Rachel (2 comments) says:

    You are missing a crucial point DPF. Gym membership as part of the student levy can be put on the interest-free student loan, separate gym memberships can’t. So by including gym membership on the student levy for students like me that means instead of paying $99 up front, I can pay $64 dollars years into the future which is equivalent to probably about $30 now. It is a pretty devious trick to transfer more money from the government to Canterbury students.

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  12. Adele Keyshia (39 comments) says:

    Considering the context this countries obesity epedemic I think this is a great idea to help encourage students to exercise regularly. What better motivation for students is there than to get value for money out of thier student levy.

    Furthermore this helps students who may previously of been unable to afford gym memberships to have the opportunity by putting it on their student loan.

    Arbitrary to make every student pay though? Think about the health costs to the New Zealand tax payer that obesity and other health related problems that can be addressed by regular exercise.

    Few students are ever going to use all the services that the student levy provides. Some will get better value than they pay for for some services while getting less from others.

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