The UAFS Recreation and Wellness Center – The RAWC – is elite when it comes to facilities but unique when it comes to funding. It is the center the students paid for.
In 2013, the Student Government Association passed a resolution in support of a fee increase to pay to construct a new recreation center on campus. But before approving the plan, the University of Arkansas System wanted something from campus that showed more broad-based support. So SGA went to work with a voter-education plan and held a special election for the entire student body. The proposal passed with high voter participation. Students addressed the UA System Board in March 2014, and the board OK’s the unusual plan. Students pay and extra $5 per credit hour to support the center.
Meighan Pendergrass, in her 11th year at UAFS, is the director of campus recreation and wellness. She remembers the previous facility so she has a real appreciation for the new space. Since opening in 2016, the RAWC has seen up to 700 users per day.