Costly changes dampen C-U summer

Students work out at Campus Recreation Center East, more commonly known as CRCE, on April 20, 2007.

Students work out at Campus Recreation Center East, more commonly known as CRCE, on April 20, 2007.

By Paul Biasco

University students taking classes this summer may be literally stuck in Champaign.

The culprit: gas prices.

Currently, gas prices around Champaign and Urbana are hovering around $3.89 per gallon and the future does not look good.

“I’m definitely not going to be able to go home as much as I would want to,” said Emily Sinclair, a junior in Business. “The gas is just getting ridiculous.”

Lincolnland Express bus company, also known as Illini Express, have had their profits hurt by the rising price of gas, said a spokesman from the company.

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He said that the company is preparing to transfer buses to run off biodiesel fuel soon. In reaction to the rising fuel costs, he said they have gotten rid of some of their special deals.

Another option for students looking to get home during the summer is the Amtrak train. Prices from the Champaign Amtrak station to Chicago Union Station range from $13 to $35 each way, depending on the train. The trip is available twice daily.

Staying around Campustown could be costly for some students as well. The University runs a bit differently during the summer months for students not enrolled in classes.

If a student is enrolled in at least three hours of University courses, mostly everything will be the same. But, any students staying for the summer who are either enrolled at Parkland Community College or are taking online courses elsewhere will not be able to utilize any of the amenities offered to University students during the fall and spring semesters, such as campus recreation and the McKinley Health Center.

Student health coverage at McKinley Health Center will not be available during the summer for those not enrolled in University courses.

McKinley’s policy is that after May 24, students who are not enrolled in three or more hours will either purchase an extension of coverage or use community health care facilities. The extension fee for an undergraduate student is $165.

The last day University students not enrolled for summer courses can use campus recreation facilities is June 8. After that date, a pass can be purchased for $105 for the whole summer.

Students who will only be on campus for the eight-week summer session can purchase a pass at a cheaper rate of $70.

Another change in the campus rec centers is their hours of operation. Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE) will open at its normal time of 6:30 a.m. but will close at 9 p.m for the summer months. Contrary to perception, the gym will not be completely empty during the summer because summer passes are available for non-students that are not normally offered during the school year.

Sean Greevers, a customer service worker at CRCE and senior in LAS, said that more citizens of Champaign and Urbana come to use the facility, but added that there are still a lot less people in the gym than during the school year.

“It’s going to be a hassle having to workout at Gold’s (Gym), but I would rather pay to work out there than at CRCE.” said Tom Moore, a junior in LAS who is not taking any classes during the summer.