The Slippery Rock Student Government Association reached a group consensus to begin the process of renovating the sand tennis courts after discussing the initiative at their informal meeting Monday night.
Matthew Hauze, senior physics major and a member of the club tennis, 22, spoke at the SGA meeting last Monday in regards to the rehabilitation of the sand tennis courts. Hauze said the first time the club tennis team brought the issue up was the fall of 2013. When the team tried to go to SGA the first time, it was shut down, Hauze said. Soon after, the president picked the issue back up and Hauze led the way.
At the SGA meeting last Monday, Hauze spoke about an initiative the club tennis team discussed in the hopes that it would get granted.
“We’re hoping that if the entire thing goes through that it would just be between $150,000 and $170,000 and that would be broken up between the three departments, athletics for the teams, education for the classes and then SGA because of the fact that the community and the club sports use them,” Hauze said. “However, Coach Meredith and I have discussed a way to make it a two-step process where we would only put the asphalt down and we would put our own lines down and we would deal with taking the second part to finish it off at a later time. If we did that, we would only need about $100,000.”
One of the reasons why the courts need renovated is because they serve as a safety hazard to students, Hauze said. He said there have been multiple floodings, especially over the past few years. Hauze said mold has started to grow on the courts and if you walk down the street and look at the edges, you can actually see it.
Hauze said the courts being renovated would not only benefit the club tennis team, but the whole university as well. He also said at last week’s SGA meeting if the courts don’t get done, there might not be a club tennis team.
“The courts right now are used every day. Usually we have to try and tell people that they can’t come to them, which is why we wanted more courts,” Hauze said. “The girl’s team and the community uses them all the time. Some of us are dedicated enough that we play six to seven hours per day if we have time after schoolwork. Every single time I go do there, there’s at least one group of people playing every time.”
At their informal meeting on Monday, SGA reached a group consensus that they were going to grant the tennis team the money for the courts or fail the motion.
SGA President Katie Hill said the senate decided to support the club tennis team’s initiative.
“So what happened is we [the senate] met with Dr. Way and I just wanted to hear his side on what was going on before I made an informed decision because I just feel like there were a lot of ‘ifs, this, then this,’ and I wanted to make sure that we were making the right decision before we just contribute money,” Hill said.
Hill said from here, the next step is that the university is going to form a committee made up of people all across the university, including people from finance, SGA, the club tennis team, the ARC and a few others. The committee will then look at the estimates and from the estimates, the committee will apply for a Green Grant, with the award amount being up to $20,000. Hill said the Green Grant is a grant used to make college campuses safer. The university is also going to apply for the USTA [United States Tennis Association] grant, which will be used towards the project as well, if awarded, Hill said.
“What’s going to happen next then is they’re [the university] going to pull the information together, get an estimate and see if we can get these grants,” Hill said. “Hopefully between us [SGA], academics and maybe athletics, we’re going to split up the money and see if it’s actually feasible to pay for this.”
There was a hesitation to grant the club tennis team their initiative last week at the senate meeting and Hill said the reason why is because the senate didn’t know how much money the renovations were going to cost.
“Being a business, you can’t just be like, ‘We’re going to put in $100,000 and hope it turns out for the best’,” Hill said.
Hill said the senate didn’t want to spend the money if it wasn’t going to benefit the whole student population. She also said the senate hesitated because nobody knew who was going to help maintain the courts and who was going to help with the money.
“I think everyone deep down wanted to, but it was just like we didn’t know what steps we were going to take yet,” Hill said.
Hauze said that he understood SGA’s hesitation and he knew the senate wanted to make sure they were doing the right decision.
“It’s not like a little amount of money,” Hauze said. “We were hoping to break it up to make it doable for everyone. We tried to do it between different departments. What I got from them [SGA] was they wanted to make sure that they did it right and they didn’t want to have any mishaps.”