Condition for Tuition

WORDS BY: ZACHARY JUAREZ
PHOTOS BY: JON ANDRINO & DAVID SCHELL

You’ve reached a vigorous pace on the treadmill. Your breath is short and your steps grow heavier as you tire out. The sweat that accumulates on your forehead begins to bead up and fall into your eyes. You don’t let it stop you because the holidays are quickly approaching and a few pounds must be shed to compensate for the weight you know you’re going to gain.

 One’s health should be a top priority, but would you hit the gym if there were an additional incentive aside from improving your cardio? As students at CSULB know, there is an option to join the “Owen’s Condition for Tuition” program (OCFT). It’s simple 49ers– train at the Rec Center 50 times for at least 30 minutes, and you will be entered into a raffle to win free tuition for your next semester.

“The goal of the program is to encourage students at CSULB to take advantage of the programs the SRWC have to offer and create lifelong healthy habits,” said Maureen MacRae, intern assistant director of the ASI Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The program begins at the beginning of fall and concludes at the end of April during the spring semester. Fifty visits in eight months is more than reasonable, so there is no excuse.

 Students are even rewarded before they reach their goals.

 “Before the end of the program is reached, there is a halfway event that is held in December to encourage students to keep going to their 50-point goal,” MacRae said.

The longer the program is around, the bigger it gets. According to MacRae, The Fall 2014 event had 4,250 students sign up with 738 of them completing the program, and the Fall 2015 school year had 4,700 students sign up with close to 800 completing the program.

At this halfway event, students in the program receive a OCFT shaker bottle and are also able to participate in games and raffles.

The final drawing takes place in May in the SRWC entry plaza and features a DJ, food, games and other fun activities. Unfortunately, only one student can win the free tuition, but other prizes include an iPad mini air, GoPro 4 and Dr. Dre Beats headphones.

Since Fall 2011, the OCFT program has helped students maintain a healthy lifestyle with the chance to win free tuition, which is funded by Joshua and Tessa Owen. Joshua Owen was the president of Ability/Tri-modal Transportation Services, Inc. and a well-known figure in the Southern California trucking industry. The Owen family also provide financial support to CSULB’s men’s basketball and women’s indoor beach volleyball teams. Sadly, on June 1, 2015, Joshua Owen passed away at the age of 43, but his name lives on through the program.

 One of the previous winners is finance major Derek Atwood. He completed the program in 10 weeks by going to the gym five times a week– and for his troubles, or lack thereof, he won $3,226 for his Fall 2015 tuition.

Some of you are out there reading this and thinking to yourself, “I wish I knew about this sooner.” Even if you don’t “win,”  you still win because you will be in better shape by the end of the program. You also have a head start on those people who wait until May to get their “summer bods” ready. Get a group together for some healthy competition, and you will be surprised with what you can accomplish.