When I was a student living in West Halls during the 1970s, we didn’t have the amenities of today’s students. No cable TV, and of course no cellphones or internet, because those things did not exist. But one thing we did have was access to Rec Hall across the street from us.
Although I left the area after graduation, I knew that Rec Hall would still be open to me when I returned to visit my alma mater. For 16 years I did, in fact, return to Rec Hall occasionally for pickup basketball. When I moved to State College in 1992, I wouldn’t say that it was entirely to play basketball more often at Rec Hall, but it was a factor. The same was true for taking early retirement in 2014. At that point, after 40 years of basketball at Rec Hall as a student, alumnus and faculty member, I looked forward to many additional happy years of healthy recreation with the people I had befriended over those decades.
To me, the cost of the access fee Penn State just instituted is worth what I receive in return: an opportunity to enhance my health through enjoyable exercise with students, faculty, staff and community members. My hope is that Penn State continues to allow everyone access to Rec Hall. It would be wonderful if students currently living in West Halls could have a lifetime of good experiences in Rec Hall similar to what I have been privileged to enjoy.
John A. Johnson,