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Thursday, February 02, 2023

Broward Recreation complex guest policies could soon change

On the glass window at the entrance, bold letters read, "Only University of Florida students, faculty, staff or their spouses may use the Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex. Guests are not allowed …"

But according to David Bowles, director of recreational sports at UF, the guest policy is subject to change.

The Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex, off Museum Road directly across from Beaty Towers, is constantly occupied, offering a roller hockey rink, a state park, equipment check-out and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.

Currently, only Gator 1 cardholders are allowed to use the facilities, primarily because overcrowding in the relatively new complex has been a concern, Bowles said.

However, guests are allowed to use some of the campus recreation facilities.

According to the UF's Recreation and Fitness Center policies, all students, faculty and staff members are limited to two guests per day. Guests must be 18 or older, and each guest is limited to using each building once a semester.

The guests are permitted to use the Southwest Recreation Center and the Student Recreation & Fitness Center, also known as the Racquet Club, but are not allowed to use the Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Jenny Lee, recreational sports board chair, said the Recreational Sports Board of Directors, consisting of 11 students and four faculty members, meets once every month from September to April to discuss policy changes and facility approvals.

"What's so great about being on the board is that it involves a lot of student opinions, and it's because of issues like this that we are on the board," Lee said. "Sometimes faculty members aren't aware issues like this exist because they aren't students."

Lee said the guest issue at the Broward complex is the first thing she's going to discuss with the board this month, and it will be addressed by October.

"When I bring it up, they'll talk about the pros and cons, what they can and can't do and decide when to have the complex available to guests." she said. "They'll look at the numbers and either have the complex available to guests at certain times or make it available all the time if overcrowding isn't an issue."

Another reason why only Gator 1 cardholders are allowed to use the Broward facilities is to ensure that the people using the recreational center are the ones who have paid for the activities and services provided, Bowles said.

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Lee said amending the guest policy at the Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex would be an improvement .

"While it currently may be an issue taking guests into the Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex," Bowles said, "there are other places around campus where guests can go and have the opportunity to participate in those facilities for now."

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