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Sitting outside of Les Prince Hall is the most recent installation of the initiatives made possible by the Student Life Enhancement Fund.

Officially labeled as the McMaster Outdoor Fitness Circuit and Boulder Climbing Facility, the outdoor installation is a playground for fitness enthusiasts and beginners alike. Located by the track in front of Les Prince, the circuit contains various bars and benches that allow an individual to perform a variety of strength and conditioning sets. Two large, man-made boulders are also connected by a small rope-bridge.

The installation was originally built in August, but had its official launch on Nov. 12.

"I think it's a cool idea because we're always talking about space and how space is a premium and hard to come by, and I think it's cool that [Athletics and Recreation] is moving outside," said MSU President Ehima Osazuwa.

“Inside, there is literally no space to do anything, so we need to think about creative and new ways of utilizing space; there's a lot of outdoor space on campus that we currently don't really utilize,” he said.

The circuit was one of two initiatives selected by students as the best ideas during last year's Presidential elections, alongside a plan to enhance and optimize the space in the Student Centre.

An open period for new, student submissions is currently ongoing for SLEF, and Osazuwa described his excitement for several ideas including heated bus shelters and napping stations on campus.

Once the submission period ends, members of the Board of Directors will determine the feasibility of projects and present a shortlist to students to vote on during the Presidential elections this year. Once the top ideas are chosen, a suitable partner must be found to keep the initiative maintained and sustainable, like with the outdoor circuit being maintained by Athletics & Recreation.

“I'm a really big fan of SLEF because I think SLEF gives people the chance to dictate where their money is going to, and also give us creative and new ideas as to where we should spend student dollars on,” said Osazuwa.

However, not all initiatives necessarily have such a quick turnaround. An on-campus skating rink has been in the works for over three years now, but has run into various issues regarding feasibility and the logistics in implementing one and maintaining it during the winter.

While Osazuwa highlighted various hurdles such as the falling Canadian dollar and the details involved in maintenance, he indicated that he was hopeful with the progress this year.

“There's been more progress compared to previous years,” said Osazuwa.

Students have until Nov. 20 to submit their ideas.

Photo Credit: Jon White/Photo Editor

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By: John Bauer

Already positioned as one of Ontario’s top women’s volleyball teams, the McMaster Marauders are also thinking to the future after securing their second recruit in as many months.

Committed to join the team next year is 5-foot-10 hitter Michelle Chelladurai, from London, Ont. The Marauders have been getting solid contributions from current hitter Caitlin Genovy and now-graduated Amanda Weldon over the past couple of years, but coach Tim Louks hopes Chelladurai brings some star power to the position.

“It is rare that the whole team gets excited about additions that are a little unknown, but our whole team is excited about Michelle... Our setting circumstance just got stronger with this addition,” said Louks.

Chelladurai plays for a Forest Valley Volleyball Club that boasted seven of the 24 women to play for Team Ontario over the summer. She already has accumulated quite the trophy case, with championships at the national and provincial levels, among other accolades.

“I decided to join the Marauder program because both the academics and the women’s volleyball program at McMaster are outstanding,” said Chelladurai, when asked what drew her to McMaster. “The coaching staff has been very welcoming and obviously a big part of the success of the Marauder program, so I’m looking forward to playing in this environment.”

Chelladurai is not the first of her family members to play in the OUA volleyball circuit. Her brother, Andrew, plays for the Windsor Lancers. Their volleyball bent seems to have come from their father, a former player, coach, and now president of the Forest Valley Volleyball Club.

In a recent interview with Volleyball Ontario, Chelladurai said: “I’d like to think my best skill is being able to perform well under pressure. A key component of performing well is staying calm and maintaining composure in these types of situations.” Considering that around this time next year Chelladurai might be taking serves from some of the country’s best, this must be music to coach Louks’ ears.

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