Petition from Martial Arts Room Users to Sports and Wellbeing Management Concerning Urgent Issues with the Martial Arts Room
Laura Smith submitted on
Closed on 08/11/2019 12:00
We the signatories, have signed this petition to highlight the urgent need of resolving serious issues with the Martial Arts Room. As members of the Martial Arts Clubs at the University of Southampton, we have tried to raise these issues, outlined below, many times over previous years, but not enough has been done to address them. It is clear that there is a lack of communication and understanding between the Martial Arts Clubs, Sports and Wellbeing staff, and the Maintenance staff, which we hope this petition changes. If successful, this petition will be taken to the Students' Union's AGM on Thursday 21 November.
The main issues are as follows:
1. Cleaning of the mats in the Martial Arts Room
The Martial Arts Room is in constant use, from a wide variety of clubs. Our hands, feet, arms, knees, and faces come into constant contact with the mats. The simple cleaning of the mats once a week is not enough to prevent the possible spread of disease and infection to all users of the room. To bring it in line with the other world class facilities at the University, and to raise the basic health and safety standard of the room, we require that the mats are steamed at least twice a week, and deep cleans are carried out at least once a month. We understand that the Students Union currently holds the contract for the cleaning of the Martial Arts Room, but their cleaning routine does not meet the levels that we require to thoroughly clean the room to acceptable standards.
2. Maintenance of the Martial Arts Room
The current level of maintenance of equipment in the Martial Arts room is below all acceptable standards. The most urgent concern is the broken air conditioning system. This issue has been raised numerous times, by countless different clubs, over the last 3 years. It is no longer acceptable to train in a room that has no way of circulating air. Anyone even walking past the room could mistake it for a sauna, even in winter. This problem has been ongoing for years, and it is not possible for us to train in a room where the walls drip with moisture, and the air is so humid that it can be drunk. Fixing the air conditioning system in the room is a basic maintenance issue that should have been fixed within weeks of it first being raised. Not only is it thoroughly unpleasant and uncomfortable to train it, it can deter people from coming to sessions, leading to decreased membership to clubs, and it leads to the possibility of black mould forming behind the mats on the wall. A portable unit with a pipe leading out the door, which was suggested by Sports and Wellbeing staff, will not be sufficient to circulate, and cool the volume of air in the room to an acceptable standard.
3. Cleaning Supplies
We request the placing of basic cleaning supplies (brushes, disinfectant sprays, cloths, etc.) to be placed in the Martial Arts Room. This would enable clubs to carry out minor cleaning before and after every session (e.g. cleaning minor blood and sweat drips off the mat). We understand that attempts have been made to do this in the past, but the supplies are taken away after a few days. We request that Sports and Wellbeing agrees with the Students Union to place basic cleaning supplies in the room, to be left in the room. This regular minor cleaning would greatly improve the overall hygiene of the room, on a session to session basis, but is no substitute to the thorough cleaning that is required on a regular basis.
4. Punching Bags Maintenance
The two punching bags in the Martial Arts room are in an awful state of disrepair. The one that is currently hanging is hanging by a thread, and the one that is on the floor has been there for three years. As this is a Sports and Wellbeing room, and we pay for the maintenance and use of the room, Sports and Wellbeing should take responsibility for all equipment in the room, including these punching bags. With the money that we pay for use of the room, Sports and Wellbeing should take full responsibility for the room, and everything in it. We can see no reason why we pay Sports and Wellbeing for use of the whole room, but Sports and Wellbeing only accept responsibility for parts of it. As the punching bags are in the room, this absolutely includes their maintenance, as well as that of the room in general.
5. Martial Arts Room Sports and Wellbeing Membership
Currently, every member of a Martial Arts Club, who use the Martial Arts Room, have to pay £99 for the most basic membership of Sports and Wellbeing. For many of our members, we only use the Martial Arts Room. The current level of maintenance and cleaning of the room does not justify anywhere near the price of the membership. Over the past two years, there has been no improvement of conditions in the Martial Arts room to justify the membership costs, and the cleaning of the Martial Arts Room is carried out by the Students Union. The only time that Sports and Wellbeing staff enter the Martial Arts room is to check if we have paid for the membership. If the above maintenance issues, and an approved cleaning schedule was implemented, we would be more inclined to consider the £99 slightly less unreasonable. In the current system, there is no way that this extortionate price can be justified. Therefore, the creation of a Martial Arts Room Only membership option is needed. Every member of every club paying £99 to use the room is not reasonable when basic issues, as outlined above, are not addressed year on year. We request the introduction of a £30 membership that would entitle holders to only use the Martial Arts Room. This would make the use of the room more accessible, and encourage wider uptake of the membership. Given the lack of maintenance, and cleaning by Sports and Wellbeing staff, we believe that this is a more reasonable price to use the room.
This petition is approved by the Martial Arts Committee. The concerns are shared by all the signatories. We look forward to your response, the Martial Arts Committee is very willing to work with you to resolve these issues.
President of the Martial Arts Committee on behalf of the Signatories
Athletic Union Martial Arts Representative