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Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian



HCC students’ high price for fitness Jimmieka Mills The Egalitarian

As students at Houston Community College, we have many great recreational benefits. However, free access to the Central campus fitness center is not one of them. At HCC, students pay for recreational sports programming through a $6 per semester fee. Many campuses throughout HCC have free fitness and weight rooms for students, but Central students must pay more to use their campus fitness center. HCC reopened the Central fitness center in 2014 after some changes. After the renovations, the fitness center no longer has a pool, so there are no aquatic activities. The center now has a row of treadmills, three 55-inch flat screen TVs, elliptical machines and a list of other amenities—all of which students and staff are required to pay for. With fitness center student fees of $75 for fall and spring semesters, and $50 for summer, struggling students are paying $200 for access to the facilities every year. Some people may have no problem supporting their college by purchasing a membership, but that's not what's happening at Central. The fees do not go to the college. Even though the fitness center is inside of the San Jac building on campus, the fitness center is not actually owned by HCC. According to Troy Jefferson, the college’s Rec Sports director, “The fitness center is a separate entity just as any other stand alone business in the midtown area.” What does this mean for those choosing to purchase a membership? Know your facts and compare prices with surrounding fitness centers. Since the fees are not going to HCC,

a membership to the central fitness center holds the same weight as getting a membership from a big-name gym. There may actually be more benefits to joining a traditional gym. Although the $200 yearly student fee may seem affordable, consider that many outside gyms have extended hours with 24 hour gyms becoming more of the norm. Access to the fitness center is based on the school schedule for the semester. If the campus is closed, so is the fitness center. In the past, Central’s fitness center had hours that extended to 9pm, which is a more feasible time for staff and faculty to use the gym. The fitness center never stopped operating on a summer schedule, which means facilities close at 7pm. A staff member, who requested to remain anonymous, stated that, “We really aren’t sure who to talk to in order to get those extended hours back. With access only being from 7am–7pm, faculty and staff have a difficult time trying to make it in before 7pm.” Gyms that may charge a bit more (such as the 24 Hour Fitness at the corner of Elgin and Louisiana) offer access nearly everyday of the year with the exception of Christmas day. Their membership fees cover group cycling, steam room access, indoor lap pools and a kid’s club. At Central, family membership purchases are available, but only family members over the age of 16 are permitted. The Central fitness center has a few payment options. Students can choose to pay for a full semester at $75 or can get a day pass for $5. Fitness Center Manager Kristen Ledezma discourages the day pass option, pointing out that, “If you go to the gym four days on a day pass, you have already paid for a month’s use. It saves you a lot more if you just pay $20 for the month.”

Jimmieka Mills / The Egalitarian Elliptical and stair climbing machines inside of the gym inside of the San Jacinto Building at Central Campus.

Paying the monthly fee has a catch as well. “Monthly fees are not prorated, so regardless of when you pay, your fees will only be good until the last day of that month in which you pay,” stated Ledezma. There is currently no yearly option for students, membership is only available on a semester by semester basis. Meanwhile, the neighboring 24 Hour Fitness also offers day passes. “We have special offers that give you up to 3 days for free,” said Destiney, a Fitness Instructor at 24 Hour Fitness, “but coming into one of our locations will guarantee you one free day. As long as you have not held a membership to 24 Hour Fitness in the

last 6 months, just provide an ID and you’re set.” Although the fitness center is not covered under recreational fees, there are certain recreational sports and classes paid for by recreational fees that take place in the center. The Central College's Recreational Sports schedule includes boot camp and MMA conditioning classes on Monday and Wednesday 4:30–5:30 pm; Self Defense Tuesday 4:30–5:30; Step Fit classes Thursday 5:45–6:45pm; Zumba Monday and Wednesday 3–4pm; and Free Play Friday 3–5:30pm. These are some of the recreational sports programming which students' $6 per semester fee go toward.

Honoring franchise with Sunday uniform John Cañamar The Egalitarian

The Houston Astros will wear a new, alternative jersey on Sundays this season, which will pay homage to the club’s history. The team unveled a navy jersey at Fan Fest on Jan. 23. It has the same orange rainbow pattern running down the sides, which the team wore in the 70s and 80s. The Astros name is in block letters in the familiar orange hue lined in white trim in an arch across the center of the chest. When the team decided to embark on the journey of creating a new jersey, the first priority was to carry on the traditions and stay within the franchise’s DNA. The second goal was not to create a throwback jersey, but instead create a modern-retro one. Astros Historian Mike Acosta stated, “In 2000 we branded the team after the new stadium. We finally went back to our core in 2013. I feel we went back home.” Acosta was referring to the Astros changing their colors

Ajani Stewart/The Egalitarian Display setup for fans to view ofAstros jerseys spanning the franchises history at FanFest. Jerseys are placed in chronological order from left to right: 1965 home Shooting Star, early 70’s Shooting Star, Mid 70’s to late 80’s Rainbow Jersey, 80’s Navy and Rainbow Sleave and current Home White. from orange and navy to Brick Red, Smoke Black and Texas Limestone Sand to match the then Enron Field—now Minute Maid Park. Team branding today is a major source of a franchise’s revenue, and the number one

item that a team is associated with is their jerseys. Team branding did not start with jerseys, it started with different color socks or leggings that were worn on top of the socks. Teams began to be known for the colors of their socks like the White

Sox, Reds and the Red Sox. In the 1960s when the Astros came into existence, teams still wore Home Whites and Road Grays uniforms. In 1964, the Colt arms company wanted royalties for the name of Colt 45s. The

franchise did not want to pay so they decided to change the name. Original team owners Roy Hofheinz and Bob Smith chose the name of Astros over the name Stars—with the influence of Astronaut Allen Shepard— because of the city’s ties to the space program. The second item that teams use for branding is their ball caps, and the Astros are no different. The Astros’ H and Star is also a tribute to the city’s history. The Star is like the name; a nod to Houston’s ties to space exploration. The H goes deeper than the obvious for Houston; it was chosen to honor the Houston Buffs. The Buffs were a Minor League team that played across from the University of Houston and were owned by the same group as the Astros in their final season. The third most important branding ingredient is a team’s colors. Orange was picked see

Jersey Reveal, Page 9

Profile for The HCC Egalitarian

February 10 Edition of The HCC Egalitarian  

Is Conn's property a con? ; Commuters' daily struggles ; Race for D.A. ; HCC Tutoring ; Houston basketball dynasty ; Latino turncoats

February 10 Edition of The HCC Egalitarian  

Is Conn's property a con? ; Commuters' daily struggles ; Race for D.A. ; HCC Tutoring ; Houston basketball dynasty ; Latino turncoats