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Boxing Club knocked out for semester

Boxing Club knocked out for semester

Alex Hammerschmidt

Kyle Marfise, sophomore information systems major, works the bag at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Emporia State Student Recreation Center. Marfise is a member of the boxing club at ESU.

The Emporia State Boxing Club won’t be able to meet on campus this semester, its members say, because its preferred time slot was taken away by the Student Recreation Center.

A Recreation Services representative said the scheduled evening time period was needed for programs that student fees pay for. She said the boxing club could have another time period.

The boxing club doesn’t pay for the use of the Rec Center or to be in the club, which is a Recognized Student Organization. Club members were notified the week of their first practice, on Jan. 29, that their spot had been taken.

Kam Gee, graduate HPER student and vice president of the club, said he went to the Student Rec Center and inquired with Whitney Slater, assistant director of Recreation Services, about why the club was unable to have their requested time slot.

“The rec programs that (Recreation Services) put(s) on took priority over our boxing club, and I was told that was because they wanted to reach more people,” Gee said. “I didn’t understand because the boxing club was a pretty big club. We had about over 20 members… and we weren’t offered that time we requested.”

In an interview with The Bulletin, Slater said the Student Rec Center reviews their class and activity schedule several times a year. They fill the schedule with their programs first, and after they let other clubs or groups pick times to meet.

“After we set our schedule, we let them (the Boxing Club) pick the time they wanted and it just happened (that before) they had a time that’s a pretty busy time in our building,” Slater said.

The club was able to have their preferred time slot in previous semesters, she said, because the time just happened to be open.

Five to 9 p.m., however, has recently proved to be a busy time for the Student Rec Center, so this semester, Recreation Services tried to focus on filling it with programs that student fees pay for.

“We support them one hundred percent, but we also need to schedule for our students, not just that one club,” Slater said.

The club, which started in 2012, was open to any students who were interested in learning how to fight in amateur competitions, as well as be a part of a close-knit family atmosphere.

“We are a non-competitive group with family values,” said Earl Givens, assistant professor of information literacy research and technology, and digital resources librarian. Givens is also the founder and head coach of the organization. “When you join boxing clubs, you are part of a family and family supports one another.”

Dylan Heinlein, junior health promotion major and club member, said he was angry and upset that they would no longer have their same practice time, thus making it impractical for most club members to meet.

“I feel like it came out of nowhere,” Heinlein said. “We were all really excited.”

Although to some the loss came as a surprise, Givens said that he saw it coming. A precursor to this semester’s incident occurred eight weeks into the spring semester of 2013 when another group was suddenly allowed to start meeting at the same time as the boxing club in the same room, he said.

“We were told to just share the room,” Givens said. “I was shocked because previously we were given the room for the entirety of one hour. Now, here we’re being told that we need to share a time slot that I requested months in advance. Fast forward a year later and here we are with no space to meet. It’s very unfortunate.”

The club was offered the chance to meet before or after classes, and during the day, Slater said.

“We let them see what was open and they chose not to use any of those open times,” Slater said. “We really haven’t heard much from them other than they weren’t going to be using the facility.”

To Heinlein, the members need to find somewhere to box again because the club is starting to grow. But, he said, it doesn’t appear that they will be able to find a place anytime soon.

“I am sad to see the Rec Center take this course of action and not listen to the voice of students. All they ask for is one hour at a time they choose,” Givens said. “With ESU being a student-oriented campus, I think we should listen to them.”

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