Friday, May 29

Wooden Center to begin 24-hour access in winter quarter

The John Wooden Center will be open 24 hours a day for students, Monday through Thursday, starting Jan. 9. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Students will have 24-hour access to the John Wooden Center starting Jan. 9.

The extended hours will apply Monday through Thursday, and will include access to the center’s cardio, gym, group activity spaces and indoor areas for meetings and dance practices, according to a statement from UCLA Recreation.

The expansion is funded by the Social Justice Referendum, which passed in the spring undergraduate student government election. The referendum added $24.99 to student quarterly fees, $1.75 of which will be used to fund the John Wooden Center’s extended hours and services each quarter.

In May, Mick Deluca, assistant vice chancellor of Campus Life, said administrators would look for additional funding options if the quarterly student fee did not cover the total cost.

Officials do not know exactly what the total cost to operate the center for 24 hours will be, Deluca said in a statement. Deluca said officials will assess actual costs of the expansion throughout winter quarter.

He said he thinks the extended facility hours will meet the needs of increased student enrollment.

He added he thinks access is an important social justice issue, and UCLA Recreation should provide more activities and services to better meet diverse student needs.

The center expects to offer additional work shift opportunities to student employees because of the extended hours, Deluca said. Student employment will be scheduled based on availability. Additional overnight non-student managers will be hired.

Officials will examine how often different spaces are used throughout winter and spring, Deluca said.

UCLA Recreation will finalize plans with student employees and the Boards of Governors for both the John Wooden Center and the Students Activities Center, among other campus groups, according to the statement. They will discuss scheduling blocks, new programs and assessing usage for the center during winter quarter.

“Students can expect to see new programs developed, but the initial goal is to start with open access to see how students would like to use space,” Deluca said. “Expanded hours will create an opportunity for (UCLA Recreation) to collaborate with students, and student groups to make decisions with direct benefit back to campus.”

Additionally, because the John Wooden Center is one of the most frequently used facilities on campus, UCLA Recreation will work with custodial services to develop a cleaning rotation plan, Deluca said.

Wendy Windsor, director of UCLA Recreation, said in the statement she thinks the expansion of the center will help make it more available to students and student groups.

“We’re always finding … ways to adapt and best meet students’ needs, but that very rarely comes with additional funding,” Windsor said.

Some students said they think 24-hour access to the center will benefit community members who want to work out late at night to fit their schedules.

[Related: Wooden employees and students talk about extending gym hours]

Toffy Charvapatanapongse, a third-year geography student, said she doesn’t use the facility often, but thinks it would be helpful for students who don’t have regular schedules and need to exercise at night.

“I remember my friends wanted to work out at 1 a.m., but the center had already closed,” Charvapatanapongse said.

Dominique McDonald, a third-year math and applied science student, said she thinks the change might not be beneficial for the employees.

McDonald said that because the center is a big building, she thinks it will require a lot of extra staffing to keep it open for 24 hours a day. However, she said she thinks it’s worth funding the center for extended hours in the long run.


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