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The student senate enacted a pilot program after getting requests from students to bring back the spouse passes.
Several years ago, spouse cards were an option for students, but that program was eliminated. The new pass will allow students’ spouses into the gym, though they will not carry the benefits of the previous spouse cards WSU once issued.
The opening of the Wildcat Center last semester provisioned the WSU Student Association with the opportunity to make spouse passes available.
“It was a perfect time to open it to everyone and let spouses come in and work out,” said senate president Brady Harris.
Nontraditional students senator Sandi Weber said this is something students have been requesting for awhile.
“That is probably the No. 1 question the various senators are contacted by members of their constituency about,” Weber said.
Students can purchase the semester passes from Lisa Pedersen in Room 301 of the Swenson Gym for $25. Harris said the price point is intended to be neutral. “We’re not going to make a profit on it,” he said.
Students must show proof of their marriage by bringing in a marriage certificate or a driver’s license for documentation. Harris said LGBT individuals who were legally married during the 17-day period in December when same-sex marriage was legal in Utah are eligible to receive the spouse passes.
Debbie Cragun, the nontraditional student program coordinator, said she sees this as a huge benefit to married students.
“Many students can’t afford a gym, so having somewhere that (they can) come and do their workout and do the classes and spend time with their spouse — it’s important,” Cragun said. “There’s that motivational side of wellness if they have a partner to do that with; I think they’re going to be more likely to use the gym.”
The program is set to run for one year. If a student purchases a pass during spring semester, it will be valid through the summer semester. In the fall, students will have the option of purchasing the pass again for the new semester. After the spring semester of 2015, the WSUSA will re-evaluate the program.
“We’re going to look at how many people are utilizing it and what kind of feedback we’re getting,” Weber said.
Harris said he isn’t worried about the program going away, though. “It’s too popular of an option. As long as I’m here, I will lobby that it won’t go away.”
Weber said she would would like to see the option expanded to include children as well. Harris said he would like that also, but the main stumbling block to expanding the program to children is opening up the gym to liability concerns.