The Pony Express

Staff Editorial: Paying for Pony Activity Center generates pushback

Photo by Morgan Grim

Photo by Morgan Grim

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This year, Stillwater Area High school opened its new multi-million dollar athletic facility, known as the Pony Activity Center (PAC).  The new facilities – which include an indoor track, weight rooms, gymnastics and basketball gyms – had teams and individual athletes excited.  It’s not hard to see why students were shocked when they were told they had to pay to use all of the school’s shiny new equipment.

In order to use the PAC, students are charged $10 for a one month membership or $3 a day.  However, students who can not afford the fee are given leniency similar to in the lunch program.

Community members can also purchase membership for a slightly higher price.  Recently, students have created a petition to lift the membership fee for students and make the PAC free for students to use.

How much should the PAC center charge?

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This policy of charging for entry to the PAC is both ridiculous and harmful to the school.  If students want to better themselves, then the administration should let them be examples of how great SAHS is.  It’s no secret that public schools have been pushing healthy lifestyles heavily for the past decade.  From healthier foods in vending machines to better cafeteria food to simply charging students extra who don’t take fruits and vegetables, eating healthy has become a priority for the Stillwater school district.

With this in mind, it makes no sense that it should be harder for students to access the workout equipment that they need to pursue this healthy lifestyle. Obviously eating healthier and working out are two of the most important ways to stay healthy. If students want to work out, they should be welcomed and encouraged to go to the PAC, not forced to pay an entry fee.

Alternative Copy Story and Photo by Hailey Willius

It is worth noting that the administration had its reasons for charging students to use the PAC.  Anyone who uses the PAC are a liability, so to keep everyone safe community education pays two supervisors, for only two hours a day, to keep an eye on things.

It makes sense that students’ safety should be important.  It doesn’t make sense that students have to pay for it.  Students don’t have to chip in to help pay the security guards.  Both the security guards and the supervisors at the PAC are part of the school’s everyday function, it is up to the school to find, somewhere in its budget, the money to pay this relatively small price next to the small fortune that was payed to build the four gyms, over 7,000 square feet of weightlifting room, and much more that makes up the PAC itself.

No student should be restricted access to any part of SAHS or any public school.  Public schools exist so that students to have free access to what they need to get a head start in life.  Thus, if SAHS truly cares about the health and wellbeing of its students, it needs to open up the PAC for free and unlimited use for all students.


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12 Responses to “Staff Editorial: Paying for Pony Activity Center generates pushback”

  1. Malaina Fragnito on January 10th, 2018 10:18 am

    I agree that students should not have to pay for the PAC. It is part of my school so I should have access to it. However, teams should get first priority to the resources before other people.

  2. Chloe Squires on January 15th, 2018 2:20 pm

    I like how informational this article was, I learned a lot. I didn’t really have an opinion on the PAC center until I read this.

  3. Jack Seipel on January 16th, 2018 4:44 pm

    This was a very informational article, as it gave information on the PAC and requirements to participate in the weight room, cardio room, etc.. I like how you said the district is so focused on eating healthy that they’re not allowing students to fulfill their health benefits from using what they’ve provided with the PAC

  4. Mikayla Cousineau on January 16th, 2018 5:36 pm

    I think this article did a great job of adding reason behind the claim that so many students are making at the moment. I appreciated that it was recognized why the fees were put into place because it was something I was wondering about going into the article. Instead of ignoring the opposition, bringing up the fees created a stronger argument in the concluding paragraphs. Great article overall!

  5. Will Gleason on January 16th, 2018 6:49 pm

    As someone who uses the PAC often and is involved in trying to promote health at SAHS, I wholeheartedly agree that the PAC should be free to use. If students want to work out and live a healthier lifestyle, they shouldn’t be charged a fee to use their own schools weight room and facilities. This was a very good and informative article, I hope more students and people see this so that a change to the system may be promoted.

  6. Joshua Framke on January 16th, 2018 7:43 pm

    Very well written, with staggering facts that make you seriously question the schools motives. Not to mention the evidence beautifully cancels out any opposition.

  7. Lilly Sample on January 16th, 2018 8:56 pm

    This article is very well written, and the alternative copy story was creatively done. I agree that the PAC center should be free to students. I also think the PAC center should be free to the community. SAHS is a public high school and the people in Stillwater should be thanked for helping ‘create’ it.

  8. Abigail Begin on January 16th, 2018 10:07 pm

    This is a great staff editorial. It is a very relevant topic at SAHS and I feel like there are many kids that would benefit from reading this. I like the alt copy and the weight that was created is impressive. I think it was a good touch to add in the part about the healthy foods, because that is a point I did not even think about. Also, the ending sentence was very powerful and challenged the school which is really good.

  9. Logan Huber on January 16th, 2018 10:49 pm

    This was very well written article, you did a lot of research and had a lot of good information. I really like the survey that you included and it was really interesting to read.

  10. Mackenzie Motz on January 16th, 2018 11:02 pm

    This article was really well written and had a lot of good information included. I thought that the alternative copy looked really good as well. It was very organized and simple which made it really pleasing to read and very easy to understand.

  11. Max Kennedy on January 17th, 2018 12:11 am

    I agree about what you said in your article, and it had many solid arguments that used logic and facts. It was good that you addressed the opposition in the middle of it but came back to prove said arguments wrong. Overall a strong editorial.

  12. Morgan Grim on January 17th, 2018 11:13 am

    I really like the facts and reasoning in this opinion.The article is very informative and gives great information. I really apprecciate the research and the perspective is very interesting.

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