by Andrea Gardner
Editor in Chief
Considering an allocation request of $15,000, the Associated Students Federation (ASF) Forum was presented with information Wednesday from Athletic Director Jimmy Paschal regarding the proposed new gym floor.
Paschal was invited to the meeting after Forum members felt they did not have enough information to make a decision regarding the large request.
In his presentation to the Forum, Paschal explained reasons for a new floor, citing safety issues and long-term injuries athletes have complained of because of the hard floor surface. Paschal explained that the polyurethane floor product has been leaching over the years, creating a surface that is, he said, much like cement.
“I’m not sure any of us have ever been happy with the floor,” said Paschal, explaining the numerous problems.
Besides the safety issue, Paschal also noted that an unattractive and unsafe floor creates problems with recruitment and that it further reduces the level of performance from athletes.
He told Forum members that the men’s volleyball team practices in the Old Gym, where there is a traditional hardwood floor. He told Forum members, “They don’t want to be there [the Student Center Gym].”
He said a number of players have experienced shin splints, that could be a result of the displacement and force factors of the floor, though he said no injuries are on record.
Paschal said the floor will cost approximately $165,000, and explained his recent fundraising efforts saying, “Now where do I get money? I haven’t seen any money drop from the sky in La Verne in the 25 years I’ve been here.”
Paschal said President Stephen Morgan has been extremely positive about the floor and through recent discussions, Dr. Morgan has challenged Athletics to raise $65,000. Paschal said Dr. Morgan told him if this is raised, the University will handle the balance.
Dr. Morgan recalled the conversation, saying, “I told Jimmy that obviously the new gym floor is a high priority,” though the Education Building is currently the top priority for the University because of the need for classroom space.
He said that because Paschal did not have a confirmed total for the cost of the floor, Dr. Morgan could not give an exact amount that the University could contribute, though he said the numbers Paschal gave to the Forum were represented fairly. He said the money from the University will come from the Plant Fund, which covers physical plant improvements.
ASF members asked Paschal numerous questions, many regarding maintenance and upkeep of a new floor. They also seemed concerned with the possibility of holding traditional events in the gym, such as the Holiday Dinner. Paschal seemed open to the idea, considering all methods would be taken to keep the proposed floor clean and in good shape.
Forum members have not yet voted on the allocation regarding the floor. President Dan Lougheed asked for members to think about the issue over the holiday break.
Normally, the Financial Review Board (FRB) handles allocation requests, but because the ASF constitution states that the FRB can only allocate a maximum of $1,200 to each club on campus, the large request was immediately forwarded to the Forum for consideration.
The Forum will decide on the allocation at its January retreat. If it funds the project, it will become a budget item and Lougheed and ASF accountant Matthew Policare will have to revise the budget. Then it will present the revised budget at the Feb. 4 Forum meeting. The approval of the new budget would then be approved at the Feb. 11 meeting.