Students Unable to Use Pool3 min read

Fishes Out of Water

Stacy Lane

Students and De Anza College will have to petition the student senate if they wish to use the campus pool for recreational swim, which is currently unavailable to students. The reason for the restriction on free swim comes down to the two denominators which guide most administrative decisions.Money and time.De Anza does not have excesses of either in the pool program, and so cannot offer recreational lap swim at this time to it’s students.Currently, the pool is being used by De Anza’s PE classes as well as the outside group, De Anza Cupertino Aquatics. De Anza’s students are in the pool five days a week, and DACA uses the pool all seven days. “Friday would be the only available time for recreational lap swim,” says Rich Shroeder, Athletics Division Coordinator. Time on Friday is also restricted to available hours after 1:00pm.In order to use these hours on Friday, funds would have to be allocated to staff lifeguards for these hours, as De Anza cannot have reacreational swim without supervision, according to Tom Beggs, swim instructor at De Anza.The lack of became an issue about 4 years ago, when DACA stopped funding lifeguards for recreational swim at De Anza, says Beggs.DACA, an outside competitive swim program, is currently under contract with De Anza to use it’s pool facilities and, in the past, funded lifeguards to be on duty for students to swim recreationally. However, according to Beggs, not enough students showed up to justify spending money on lifeguards.”DACA was losing money,” says Beggs.De Anza’s sister school, Foothill Community College, offers recreational lap swim during the summer and hires lifeguards for this program at $10 an hour, according to Sue Gatlin, athletics director at Foothill College. If De Anza were to pay the same rate for lifeguards on available fridays, it would cost approx. $240 per month.However, there is currently not enough allocated funds to pay this amount. “We don’t have it, it’s a lean year,” says Frank Nunez, Director of Facilities and Operations at De Anza.Maintaining the pool is one of the more costly expenditures at De Anza, second only to electrical costs.It costs approximately $144,194 annually to maintain the pool, according to figures from De Anza’s maintenance logs. This figure is a total including materials, personnel, heating and water costs for the pool. The district allocted $41,766 this year, and DACA’s contract brings in another $54,404, bringing this year’s budget to around $96,170, leaving no room for extra expenses.The way to get money allocated is to petition DASB, says Beggs. This way, students can voice whether they want recreational swim – and if they would show up – and then DASB can allow the funds for lifeguards.Tom Beggs supports this idea, and hopes that it will get students interested in the pool program at De Anza. He offers a little relief, too: any student who passes a preliminary swim test is more than welcome to jump in the pool during his AP swim class on Fridays between the hours of 10:30am and 1:15pm.Other than that, the only way to ensure recreational lap swim for students is to fund lifegurards, and then ensure that student turnout justifies the funding of these lifeguards.