Do not be surprised if you see a high school student roaming around campus or anyone in the community that is not associated with California Lutheran University. These visitors are either on a campus tour or most likely renting one of CLU’s facilities.
CLU is a private institution, which means the university must find its own way to collect money. Whether the money is coming from students or donors, in order for this campus to function properly, it needs to receive money. One major way for the university to retain money, is renting out the facilities.
Children ranging from all age groups using the Samuelson Aquatic Center, high school students renting William Rolland Stadium to host a football game or even a local, youth soccer team playing a game at Mt. Clef Stadium are all examples of CLU renting out their facilities.
Craig Rond, the Associate Aquatics Director and Men’s Waterpolo Head Coach, said he believes the university ultimately rents out it’s facilites for the money to help pay for the fees to operate the pool properly.
“I think the primary reason is because of the revenue it draws. [CLU] rents the pool per lane per hour and it’ll start to add up with energy bills, the chemical bills, etc.,” Rond said.
Although renting out the facilities strongly benefits CLU, it can also hinder the athletic teams if it interferes with their practice schedule.
“It’s pretty tight for the CLU aquatic programs,” Rond said. “They’ve felt the pinch where they have to be out at a certain time because there’s a renter group coming, so sometimes it can be a little rushed.”
The Samuelson Aquatic Center is always being used by students and renters from the hour it opens to the hour it closes.
“The aquatics facility is constantly booked. It is not uncommon for people to be in our pool from 5:30 in the morning until 10 o’ clock at night,” Rond said.
Sarah Girgis, a freshmen student athlete at CLU, said she understands there are two sides to renting out the facilities on campus.
“I think there are a lot of pros and cons to [renting out our facilities],” Girgis said.
“You can see it as great advertising for younger students and it really inspires them to see a college atmosphere, but on the other side of that it hinders our experience especially as student athletes. For example, we had practice last week and since a high school was here we weren’t able to use our locker rooms.”
It isn’t very often for the university teams to be kicked out of their own facility, but when it happens the athletes do seem to get frustrated.
Lanaki Apele, a lifeguard at the Samuelson Aquatics Center, does not experience the frustrating part of CLU renting its facilities but more of the stressful part.
“Sometimes it gets overwhelming because with only two lifeguards on duty we have to be very alert especially with the younger kids running around a lot,” Apele said. “There are usually about 80 kids in the pool at once.”
With that many kids using the facility, one can only imagine the stress it brings to the lifeguards on duty. But at the end of the day, it’s a win win situation because CLU gets paid, and younger athletes get to practice or compete in the sport they love.
Published October 15, 2014