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Senate passes resolutions calling for UHS self-scheduling, subsidies for RecSports passes

The Notre Dame student senate passed resolutions Wednesday aimed at making recreational passes more affordable and improving the accessibility of University Health Services (UHS).

In the past year, RecSports announced they were switching from a pay-per-class system to a pass system for group recreational and fitness classes. Now students can pay $95 for a year-long pass, $60 for a semester pass or $35 for a half semester pass. 

Sophomore senator Derick Williams from Keough Hall introduced resolution SS2223-09, which seeks to fix financial issues caused by the switch to a pass system. Williams brought up concerns that the pass system is too expensive and prevents students from enjoying recreational opportunities. 

In the resolution, Williams calls for the Office of Student Enrichment (OSE) to coordinate a plan with RecSports to subsidize passes or provide financial assistance for students with demonstrated financial aid. Williams said he hopes the subsidies will come in the form of free or reduced price passes for those with demonstrated need seeking a pass. 

Williams also expressed concern that the cost of the recreational passes was having a particularly negative effect on those struggling with their mental health.

“Recreational and fitness classes can serve as a useful tool for students to relax and reflect as a therapy and treatment method for mental health concerns,” Williams said.

In the second part of his resolution, Williams called on the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being and the University Counseling Center to work with RecSports to “identify ways in which a RecSports pass can serve as a further resource for sustaining mental well-being.” The resolution passed unanimously.

The senate then passed resolution SS2223-10 which calls on UHS to implement an online self-scheduling system. The resolution was introduced by McGlinn Hall senator Lauren Taylor.

Currently, appointments can only be made by calling UHS. Taylor and resolution co-authors Sisy Chen, the director of health and wellbeing, and Hunter Brooke, the Carroll Hall senator, argued that this system discourages students from seeking medical attention. 

“UHS offers many vital resources to support a healthy campus community, but the only way for students to schedule an appointment at the UHS currently is via phone call — a process which troubles students with significant hold times, inefficiency and inconvenience, and frequently requires students to leave a message and await a return call,” Taylor said.

The authors argued that the method of scheduling over the phone is outdated, claiming that other similar universities have self-scheduling systems in place.

With the resolution in place, UHS will work with the senate to look into developing an online self-scheduling system.

Also announced at the meeting was an initiative to ensure that menstrual products are available in the unisex bathrooms in men’s dorms. 

Next Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the senate will host a new program called Student Policy Collaboration in the Hesburgh library. Students will be able to come and voice their concerns and give ideas to senators.

Contact Liam Kelly at lkelly8@nd.edu

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