Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s student leadership is concerned about a lack of clarity surrounding the college’ new direction when it comes to sports and fitness facilities.
A decision to move to a brand new “wellness strategy” was announced publicly by the college in early June, when the decision was made to disband its inter-collegiate sports teams and lock the doors to the school gyms at the Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert campuses.
The gyms will re-open Aug. 8 as part of a “temporary solution” according to administration, but there’s still a lot that’s up in the air.
Sask. Polytechnic Student Association (SPSA) president Justin Skwark told 650 CKOM it was frustrating not to have more information with the start of the school year approaching.
“There’s a lot of vague, unanswered questions on a fairly regular basis,” he said.
Skwark said it was hard to believe there was no plan in place.
“It seems to me like there is a direction, but every time somebody asks, they won’t tell you. They say ‘we don’t know.'”
When interviewed Monday, Sask. Polytechnic associate vice president of human resources Terence Carswell said the college isn’t reconsidering its decision to disband its intercollegiate sports teams.
Instead, he said the college is focusing on the “four dimensions of wellness” — mind, body, life and community.
Skwark said Tuesday he found Carswell’s statement “interesting” given the new “wellness steering committee” —which Skwark sits on as a student representative — hasn’t even discussed the matter.
“It is my understanding that the wellness steering committee was to bring forward recommendations for services that positively affect overall wellness,” he said.
“Athletics and sports are instrumental in overall wellness and positively affect the body, life and community dimensions … how could something that spreads across every dimension not even be considered?”
He added there are questions as to whether the gyms will be ready in time for the college’s proposed re-opening dates.
Since the closures, some of the gyms have been used as storage spaces while others have been renovated — with the equipment left uncovered, Skwark said.
“Everything is a mess right now,” he said. “We don’t have any direction as to what we should expect in terms of the equipment … how it’s going to get cleaned up.”
He said recent decisions have made it clear verbal agreements between students and college administration aren’t ironclad anymore.
“It’s contradicting itself all the time. What’s allowed? What’s not allowed? How do you hold people accountable?”
That said, Skwark noted it’s been difficult to get any other form of agreement with administrators.
“Things should be in writing, but we have nothing in writing and it seems like we’re supposed to get a verbal agreement,” he said.