Students visiting Duke University will now be able to buy memberships to recreational facilities after a university policy was overturned following an online petition.
The original policy stated that visiting students were only allowed to access the facilities as paying guests when they were with a Duke student or staff member.
A number of visiting students were not happy with the policy because of the high cost and inconvenience of using gym facilities that were not affiliated with the university if they wanted regular access to a gym.
Over 120 students signed the petition, which stated that visiting students needed access to recreational facilities in order to stay healthy and relieve stress.
According to Felicia Tittle, the executive director of recreation and physical education, the original policy was put in place because of tax implications involved in selling memberships to university recreational facilities. She said that she began receiving complaints about the policy in April and a meeting had already been scheduled to discuss the policy before the petition was created.
Tittle says that a mistake was made and visiting students were unintentionally put into a category with other groups who use the recreational facilities. However, visiting students don’t have an impact on taxes like the other groups, so the policy was removed and visiting students will be allowed to purchase memberships.