Fort Hays State University will soon have a relaxation zone with three massage chairs in the Sunset Lounge underneath the spiral staircase in the Memorial Union according to Student Government Association President senior Bradley Stramel.
“The idea of having a relaxation zone in the Union with massage chairs is one endorsed by the FHSU Kelly Center and the Student Heath Center, and recommended by the Union Advisory Committee,” Bill Smriga, Director of the Student Union said.
“It will benefit students by providing an outlet to de-stress, unwind, and relax.” Stramel said. “After having focus groups and surveys for the past few years on what students wanted in the Union the Memorial Union Policy Board decided to invest in the chairs as a service and something new for the Union.”
The three chairs will be on a 15-minute time limit, but will be free for all FHSU students to use. Each chair will cost approximately 2,000 to 3,000 dollars. The exact cost depends on the vendor chosen for the chair bid.
“I think their hearts are in the right place, but there are probably better ways to spend 2,000 to 3,000 dollars,” junior Mason Rohleder said. “They could just give me the 2,000 dollars, and I will massage whoever they want me to.”
“They (the students) can feel at ease knowing that the funds for these chairs are not funded from student fees nor university fees,” Stramel said. “These will be funded from the University Bookstore’s contribution package by our approval for Follet Higher Education Group to be our Union bookstore.”
The chairs will be purchased once the Memorial Union Policy Board approves the bid at the next meeting; the meeting date is unknown at this time.
Stramel said that students at Pittsburg State University enjoy and utilize their relaxation room, which also has massage chairs. He said they indicated it is a worthy investment, and the use of the chairs has increased over the two years the university has had them.
“I could see the chairs seeming like a nice escape from the stresses of class,” junior Jamie Crawford said. “It will give the students a place to go to relax but personally I am not too sure massages contribute much to getting rid of stress.”
“There is stress in one’s life whether you are a college student or not,” Stramel said. “College students have a lot of stress with school work, part time or full time jobs and participation in student activities. In addition to those stresses, having to plan for future endeavors can create complexity.”