This summer, for the first time, the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation will charge students a $40 access fee to use its facilities. The new fee was listed in DAPER’s IAP/Spring Recreation Program Guide, published in January, but no attention was called to the change.
According to Tim J. Moore, manager of the Zesiger Center, the fee was approved by Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict. Moore suggested that around 2,000 students might pay the $40 fee, resulting in $80,000 in additional revenue for DAPER.
Moore was unable to provide an estimate for how many students used DAPER facilities last summer, to predict how many might be discouraged by the new fee, or to put the revenue estimate in the larger context of DAPER’s budget.
Moore justified the new fee saying that, “costs go up,” and that in the past five years, “we’ve raised fees on every other category of membership.” DAPER has struggled to balance its budget, Moore said.
Moore said that DAPER would be putting up flyers and posters about the change.
During the academic year, student access to DAPER facilities is covered by a portion of the $200 student activities fee that enrolled students pay.
Although the new fee is listed in the fee schedule on DAPER’s Web site, no formal announcement about the change is there.
Further down, the same Web page, http://web.mit.edu/zcenter/gen_info/cs_membership.html, still states that students “may use DAPER facilities during the summer at no additional charge.”
Stephen D. Immerman, the interim head of DAPER, was traveling Thursday and could not be reached for comment.