Student fees pay for ropes course


The ropes course receives its final touches as construction continues on Jan. 21, 2019.

Rylee Smith

Opinions Editor

If you’ve taken a look past the Student Union and seen a large new structure, it’s not the stress of the new semester making you imagine things.

CSU Bakersfield is coming to the end of building a new ropes challenge course for student groups or teams, nonprofits, local businesses, and other local groups to work on team-building exercises in a physically active environment. The development process has been going on for about three and a half years now, with Outdoor Adventures Coordinator Marshall McArthur leading the planning.

McArthur said construction has been going very well, and there have been no unplanned hiccups to prevent the course from being available on time or to change the cost of construction.

Costs factored in include the facility itself, fencing, sidewalk, and other practical considerations.

“When all is said and done, it adds up to about $600,000. This came from student fees in the SRC reserves,” said Mary O’Mahoney, director of the Student Recreation Center.

Unlike other features of the SRC, the Challenge Course is not specifically for CSUB students, though students are encouraged to enjoy it. Instead, it is available to the CSUB community and Bakersfield community alike. Groups must have a minimum of eight people. A two and half hour program costs $80 for the entire group, with an additional $10 per person over eight. Students will have a discount, but McArthur says the exact amount reduced for students has not been released yet.

The course will be finished by Feb. 8, with plans to open soon afterward, but it will not open until the team is sure that all facilitators are ready to provide a quality experience. This preparation will include SRC employees going through the course to give facilitators face-to-face practice with groups.

Asna Rupano, a former student manager on duty at the SRC, said that SRC employees are looking forward to trying the course together.

“It’s [going to] be great because there’s been no physical place for team building for student groups. We didn’t have anything within arms reach. Now I think [the course] will be a good way to make sure students have a positive experience on campus,” Rupano said.

Some of the makeup of the course is being kept confidential, since the exercises are not as effective if teams know what they will be doing beforehand.

“We don’t want people to know everything,” McArthur said.

However, there will be two levels of height, with the lower level set at 20 feet above the ground, and the higher level at 35 feet. Activities will include various options for exiting the course, such as belaying down from the top and a “quick jump” option, where participants are clipped into a harness and jump off of the platform.