Reily eliminates costs for group classes, adds to fees

Reily Student Recreation Center is now offering all group classes at no extra cost to students. The newly free classes include a variety of cycling, pilates and yoga options.

These previously cost students $5 for a single class pass and $35 for a semester membership pass for cycling, or of pilates and yoga. The fee waiver applies only to undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, staff and others will have to have both a Reily membership and a group class membership pass to attend. 

Hannah Stiller, assistant director of fitness and wellness at Reily, wants more students to be able to participate in the activities that Reily offers without the burden of paying for a pass. She and the rest of the Reily staff have been working to reallocate funds to continue the programming.

“This is an initiative that we’ve been working towards for a while, but we had to make sure that we were going to be able to do that financially because that money was being wrapped into some other programs that we were able to offer,” Stiller said. “So we were able to make that work and then offer it for free for students.”

For students who do not have transportation or upwards of $100 a month to spend on exercise classes, $35 a semester will likely seem a good deal, but the idea of “price included” may seem even better.

“I never went to any of the yoga, cycling or Pilates because they weren’t free,” senior Audrey Scandurro said. “But I am now going to start because they are, and I’m super excited about it. I’ve heard from multiple people that they’re also looking forward to it being included.”

While some students are looking forward to the policy change, others may be surprised to learn that students are still absorbing some of the costs of the change through their Reily fees.

When comparing the student activity and Reily Recreation costs from the 2016-17 school year and the 2017-18 year on Tulane’s financial aid website, the fees have risen from $540 to $600. According to the Undergraduate Student Government Finance Committee, which is in charge of assessing the student activity fee, the activity fee has remained at $240 since the fiscal year of 2013. This means that the Reily fee has risen on its own, from $300 to $360. As semester passes cost a little more than $30 a year, every undergraduate student is now being charged roughly the equivalent of a year of membership for these classes, which are being labeled as free.

Some students thought labeling something as “included” while tacking on extra fees is not the same thing as being truly free.

“I think it’s just a way to increase fees and make more money without significant pushback,” senior Sydney Cookshaw said. “Obviously there will be students who will attend these classes, but there will be many who won’t who’ll still be covering their cost via tuition.”