Wellness Partnership

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is included in my student activity fee?
Q: How long does my membership last?
Q: What benefits do I receive as a YMCA member?
Q: Who qualifies for a membership?
Q: What do I need to do to initiate my membership?
Q: I am a WSU student and already have a YMCA membership; do I need to cancel it?
Q: I'm a YMCA member at a different YMCA; what do I do?
Q: Can I use this YMCA membership at the Y in my hometown?
Q: Can I upgrade to a family membership?
Q: What if I want to add on options like a locker, towel or Kid Zone?
Q: Are my student fees paying to build a YMCA?

Q: Will the Heskett Center be closing?
Q: How is this project funded, including student fee allocation?
Q: Who is eligible for a YMCA membership?

Q: Why can't WSU finance and build its own new fitness facility?
Q: What will happen to Campus Recreation jobs?
Q: How will WSU continue to use the existing Heskett Center?
Q: Why can't WSU update the current Heskett Center facility?

Q: What role will WSU Wellness, including Campus Recreation, have in implementing the new facility?
Q: Who will operate and maintain the Wellness Center / YMCA facilities?
Q: Why did the YMCA decide to partner with WSU?
Q: How big is the proposed YMCA facility and what will it include?
Q: What benefits, including education experiences and amenities, will be available to students?

Q: Are renderings of the proposed facility available?

Do you have a question that you don't see listed here? Let us know at strategic.comm@wichita.edu.


Q: What is included in my student activity fee?

The student activity fee assessed by WSU covers all aspects associated with student life, including but not limited to access to the Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, student activities, athletic events, Counseling and Testing Center, Fine Arts events, Child Development Center reduced rates for students, the Sunflower, Student Government Association and access to nine Wichita-area YMCA locations.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved an increase in WSU student fees to help the university satisfy the growing student life needs requested by both students and parents. These needs include items such as: expanded on-campus health services (like additional treatment providers, expanded lab capabilities, additional applied learning experiences for students, expanded mental health care services, etc.); improved recreation and personal wellness options; a drop-in child care center for students with children, and more.

WSU is committed to bringing these enhanced services to students. The first step in fulfilling these needs is the new benefit to all fee paying students of a YMCA membership.

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Q: How long does my membership last?

Memberships are for six months at a time: Fee-paying Wichita State students enrolled in the fall semester have an active membership from August to February. Fee-paying students enrolled for the spring have a membership from January to August. If you pay your fees after August 1 or January 1, please allow three (3) business days following payment for your YMCA membership to be initiated.

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Q: What benefits do I receive as a YMCA member?

The WSU Student Member brochure (PDF) has information on YMCA membership benefits.

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Q: Who qualifies for a membership?

Any current, fee-paying WSU student qualifies for a single adult Y membership.

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Q: What do I need to do to initiate my membership?

Your membership will be automatically initiated by the YMCA. If you pay your fees after August 1 or January 1, please allow three (3) business days following payment for your YMCA membership to be initiated.

On your first visit to the Y, bring your Shocker Card ID and stop at the front desk to finalize your account setup.

  • Verify that all of your account information is complete and correct (including your phone number and member photo).
  • Learn how to check in.
  • Take a tour.

If you are a current Y member and have questions about your bankdraft/current membership rate, contact wsuy@ymcawichita.org.

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Q: I am a WSU student and already have a YMCA membership; do I need to cancel it?

You should receive details and instructions via email from the YMCA regarding your current membership. If you did not receive instructions, please email wsuy@ymcawichita.org.

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Q: I'm a YMCA member at a different YMCA; what do I do?

That’s awesome! Each YMCA is locally owned and operated, so your next step may vary by location.

Send information about your current membership to wsuy@ymcawichita.org. Include your name, your YMCA location, and the type of membership you have (i.e. single adult, family, other).

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Q: Can I use this YMCA membership at the Y in my hometown?

Each YMCA is locally owned and operated, so member privileges may vary by location. Visit www.ymca.net and find the location in your hometown. If they participate in the YMCA Nationwide Membership program, you should have access with your YMCA Student Membership. You will be asked to sign a Nationwide Membership waiver on your first visit to a YMCA outside of the Greater Wichita YMCA area. Please note that some limitations may apply. Ask your hometown YMCA for complete details on the Nationwide Membership participation.

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Q: Can I upgrade to a family membership?

Yes! A special discounted rate of $29.90/month is available for WSU students to upgrade to a family membership with a second adult and/or children. Visit any Y location to change your account for this upgrade.

Bring a cancelled check or other means of verifying your checking account to set up a monthly bankdraft for the fee.

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Q: What if I want to add on options like a locker, towel or Kid Zone?

These options can be added at any YMCA front desk for the applicable fee. Bring a cancelled check or other means of verifying your checking account to set up your monthly bankdraft for these options.

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Q: Are my student fees paying to build a YMCA?

Building the YMCA on campus is made possible through a capital campaign and multi-million dollar investment from the YMCA. No student tuition or fees will be utilized to build the YMCA.

Follow the Y on Facebook and Twitter - @ymcawichitast.

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Q: Will the Heskett Center be closing?

The Heskett Center is not scheduled to close. The Heskett Center and Campus Recreation programs will operate as usual. The YMCA and Campus Rec will partner to offer a variety of on-campus activities throughout the year.

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Q: How is this project funded, including student fee allocation?

YMCA contribution
YMCA will take on the risk and responsibilities for design, construction, maintenance and operations of the facility. The YMCA's contribution will cover two-thirds of the cost.

Capital costs
Capital costs for the building will be shared by YMCA and WSU Board of Trustees. These funds are not available for upgrading the Heskett Center, and can only be used for development on the Innovation Campus. The WSU Board of Trustees contribution will cover one-third of the cost.

Student fees
Based on feedback from students regarding construction of a Health and Wellness facility through a partnership with the Greater Wichita YMCA, the university proposed and the Kansas Board of Regents approved a change in the existing fee structure. The new fee, effective in fall 2017, replaces the existing per credit hour fee for Intercollegiate Athletics and Student Services with a tiered flat fee system, while adding the new Health and Wellness component.

With a three-tiered, flat fee structure, rates are assessed based on the type of student (undergraduate/graduate), number of enrolled credit hours and in which semester classes are taken. For example, an undergraduate student taking 15 credit hours will pay $18.55 more a semester for a package of services including Health and Wellness.

Non-bonded facility
The proposed facility is a non-bonded partnership building. The YMCA would design, build and maintain, under WSU oversight. The university would carry no debt obligation.

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Q: Who is eligible for a YMCA membership?

Current Wichita State students who pay the student activity fee are eligible for a YMCA membership.

As always, your student activity fee covers all aspects associated with student life, including but not limited to access to the Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, student activities, athletic events, Counseling and Testing Center, Fine Arts events, Child Development Center reduced rates for students, the Sunflower, Student Government Association, and membership to nine Wichita Area YMCA locations. And don't forget the Heskett Center is still available for on-campus fitness and recreation needs.

No student money – whether tuition or fees – will go toward the construction of the WSU YMCA. The money you’re paying now in student activity fees will go toward continually growing and improving health and wellness services for all students, which includes: Student Health Services; Counseling and Testing Center; Office of Disability Services; Campus Recreation; and the Prevention Services Advisory Board.

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Q: Why can't WSU finance and build its own new fitness facility?

A new facility would cost approximately $15 million, which would need to be bonded, and the university would have to take on additional debt. WSU is currently not in a position to take on more debt for an additional seven years.

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Q: What will happen to Campus Recreation jobs?

There have been no reductions to Campus Recreation’s budget. which will allow for the department to add wellness programs and services that are complementary to the ones offered by the YMCA. The shift in programming will add to the learning, work and recreational activities available to students.

The addition of the YMCA on WSU’s Innovation Campus will increase applied learning opportunities and jobs in the health and wellness field. The proposed facility will add approximately 50 student positions to campus.

Full-Time Staff
Full-time staff responsibilities within existing positions may change.

International Student Positions
“International students can work on the Innovation Campus as long as the job provides direct services to students. Anybody working for the [on campus] YMCA would definitely be providing direct services to students and, therefore, be eligible as an employment opportunity for international students.” - Vince Altum, executive director, Office of International Education

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) Positions
The new facility will be able to employ domestic, international and work study students (same as the Rhatigan Student Center and Heskett Center).

Work Study Positions
“Work study students will have the opportunity to be employed on the on-campus YMCA much as they do at the RSC.” - Judy Espinoza, director, Office of Human Resources

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Q: How will WSU continue to use the existing Heskett Center?

The proposed new facility represents a partnership between WSU, Campus Recreation and the YMCA to provide fitness and wellness services for WSU students. The Heskett Center will continue to house intramurals, sport clubs, aquatics and rentals to community groups, along with several academic departments. Athletics will continue to use the facility for its indoor track program. In addition, Campus Recreation is in the process of developing new programs and uses for their space to expand recreational and wellness opportunities.

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Q: Why can't WSU update the current Heskett Center facility?

The approximate cost to upgrade the Heskett Center ranges from $11-15 million, which would need to be bonded, and the university would have to take on additional debt. WSU is not currently in a position to take on more debt, for at least seven years. It would be at least that long before a new fitness center would be presented for discussion. Even then, all projects would be prioritized.

This current proposed partnership between Campus Recreation and the YMCA is made possible by funds contributed by the YMCA and the WSU Board of Trustees. The funds contributed from the WSU Board of Trustees can only be used on the Innovation Campus.

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Q: What role will WSU Wellness, including Campus Recreation, have in implementing the new facility?

Campus Recreation will continue to operate intramurals, sport clubs, aquatics and rentals to community groups.

The proposed facility will further enhance wellness and fitness on campus, by providing unmet needs such as a drop-in Kid Zone center and improved strength and fitness facilities.

WSU Wellness will operate the comprehensive Wellness Center, which would include Student Health..

WSU will form a joint advisory board for this specific WSU YMCA composed of staff members from Campus Recreation, Student Health, WSU students (Student Government Association or appointed by SGA) and YMCA staff. This group will coordinate programming between Campus Recreation, Wellness Services and the YMCA to the mutual benefit of WSU students.

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Q: Who will operate and maintain the Wellness Center / YMCA facilities?

The YMCA would design, build and maintain the facility under WSU oversight. This facility will include a comprehensive WSU Wellness Center.

The YMCA would operate the fitness and child watch program.

WSU Wellness would operate the comprehensive Wellness Center. The Childhood Development Center will continue to operate, as is, under Student Affairs. Wichita State will continue to operate and maintain the Heskett Center.

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Q: Why did the YMCA decide to partner with WSU?

A WSU-YMCA partnership represents a unique opportunity to provide additional services to WSU students. The YMCA has a proven track record, strong commitment, excellent community ties and deep expertise in providing fitness activities and drop-in daycare. In addition to providing added fitness programming, the proposed facility would also house a new, comprehensive Wellness Center to better serve the academic, physical, mental and emotional health needs of our students.

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Q: How big is the proposed YMCA facility and what will it include?

In addition to the existing Heskett Center facility, the proposed facility would include a 45,000-square-foot fitness facility and a 15,000-square-foot comprehensive wellness center.

The 60,000-square-foot facility being proposed would house state-of-the-art workout facilities, including cardio, weights and fitness studios, student health and wellness services, and a drop-in Kid Zone center.

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Q: What benefits, including education experiences and amenities, will be available to students?

WSU students receive a membership to the new WSU facility as well as full access to all nine full-service YMCAs located in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

WSU students receive YMCA memberships during construction with all rights and privileges of a regular membership beginning next fall.

The YMCA will operate an on-campus, drop-in daycare facility. The Childhood Development Center will continue to operate under WSU Wellness.

Student fee funds generated during construction will fund the new 15,000-square-foot comprehensive Wellness Center, which is connected to the YMCA facility. WSU Wellness will operate the comprehensive Wellness Center. Once construction has concluded, the wellness fee will be used to continue operating the facility.

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Q: Are renderings of the proposed facility available?

Map Rendering - Conceptual rendering only

YMCA Map Rendering

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Exterior Rendering - Conceptual rendering only

YMCA Exterior Rendering

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