It seems there is an element of confusion surrounding the issue of the Leckhampton Swimming Pool and WCSA’s decision not to renew our contract with Corpus Christi - I hope to clear this up now.
As many of you will remember, there was a college-wide referendum at the beginning of last academic year on whether or not Wolfson should seek to acquire the Leckhampton swimming pool. The college voted overwhelmingly in favour of this motion and WCSA paid £1175 to rent the Leckhampton pool from Corpus Christi for the duration of that year. This was done on a trial basis however.
When the contract expired, Wolfson retained the option to keep the swimming pool - but for a minimum of 5 years. This would have cost WCSA £6370 and would have used up most, if not all, of our Surplus fund. The duration of the contract and the fee were non-negotiable.
Despite the apparent enthusiasm for the pool last year, going on the amount of times the key for the Leckhampton Pool was checked out from the porter’s lodge (and accounting for large groups and people that jumped the fence) the pool was used by a tiny fraction of the college. On top of that, the pool is also unheated and is only really usable during the summer months.
There are very specific terms under which WCSA can spend its surplus money – it must go towards a long term project (i.e. something that will last several years) and must benefit a sizeable majority of Wolfson members. It is also worth noting that this surplus was built up over several consecutive years by previous WCSA committees for this very purpose. Therefore, since we were unwilling to bind the next 5 WCSA committees into a contract with Corpus (and since the swimming pool did not meet the necessary criteria) we opted not to retain the Swimming Pool this year.
This decision was not taken lightly. ALL the minutes from EVERY single meeting in which we have discussed this issue are available on the website for further proof. Furthermore, an e-mail was sent out around college asking for other suggestions on how WCSA could spend the money. Whilst very few of the suggestions we received met the criteria above, it was clear that many people also had reservations about spending such a vast amount of money on the pool. We did not have a referendum on the issue either as we simply could not risk committing to a long term project that had failed as an experiment the previous year – while this might be a contentious issue for some, we had to act responsibly.
A new running machine and/or a new 4 man boat may not necessarily be the best options available. However, if we fail to meet the desired threshold (35%) or the college votes against it, then we will reopen the discussion once more and ask the college again for more suggestions. Finally, next year’s committee will also have the chance to enter into negotiations with Corpus and bring back the pool if they so wish – so, the pool is not entirely dead in the water, so to speak.
I hope this has cleared the matter up. If you have any other questions surrounding the issue of the pool though, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.