FAMU’s aquatics program recently met with the Student Government Association’s finance committee in hope of acquiring additional funds for the summer term of the current academic school year.
Jorge Olaves is the director for the Rattler Aquatic Center “The funding will go towards chemicals to maintain the facility, First Aid equipment and uniforms for the lifeguards,” he said. “This funding allows us to open the facility in a safe matter.”
The Rattler Aquatic Center provides students with the experience and the excitement of being in the water. Students will learn the importance of swimming, and the different strokes that will enhance their skills in the water.
“The initial funds for chemicals, First Aid equipment, and uniforms for the fall term were granted. However, when asked for additional funding the committee needed clarification on why more funding would be needed for the summer term,” Olaves said.
The pool on campus has faced its hardships in terms of funding in the past. Before the pool reopened in 2012 it was out of commission for four years due to lack of funds for lifeguards and maintenance.
“I’m a senior and I never knew that there was a pool on campus, yet alone a pool that we’re allowed to use with just simply having our student I.D. I think that’s a great attribution to our school, and funding it shouldn’t even be a question. How to promote it more should be,” Najja Campbell said.
The aquatics center offers free swimming lessons to personnel and students on campus. Also, director Olaves runs Rattler Aquatics Club for students interested in learning the necessary skills to become a great swimmer and get involved with the department.
“The department is overlooked a lot by almost everyone on campus. There are some faculty and staff and students who are not aware that there is a pool on campus, it is upsetting because we have a Rattlers Aquatics club that is ran by Coach Olaves and he plans canoe and kayaking trips for everyone to participate in and no one takes advantage of the opportunity,” Sydne Vigille said.
Vigille is a third-year public relations student. She’s also a lifeguard and water safety instructor at the Rattler Aquatic Center.
“One of the many goals Coach Olaves and I have, is to bring back the Rattler swim team and hopefully compete competitively, and the second goal is to hopefully start a water polo team as well,” Vigille said.
With plans set in place to further the program those involved are hoping that by bringing awareness to faculty and staff – and the student body – that the pool is there and available for use funding for the pool area will be as guaranteed as any other recreational facility.
Olaves said although it’s difficult at times seeking funding, he’ll keep at it.
“We’ve applied for funding for 2018-19 year, and in the meantime, we will spread word of our services and hours. Word of mouth and social media among students are the best PR.”