Why we are paying?

 The Student Center bowling centre, once a favourite spot for students due to its free bowling, has taken a hit in its popularity following the implementation of a five Qatari Riyal gaming fee.  To many students, the question they are asking is “Why do we need to pay?”



Student workers have been reporting that the number of students coming to bowl has dropped significantly from highs of over 100 students a day during the free bowling period to approximately 65 a day after the payment system was started.



Despite the fact that bowling is cheaper in the Student Center compared to anywhere else in Doha, “It’s the fact that they have to pay something that makes them [students] not want to come” said Mai al-Jundi, one of the student workers on duty in the early afternoon.  But the fee also forces a sense of responsibility among students as before the fee was put in place, students “were very careless before,” al-Jundi said, “and so far we’ve had far less incidents.”



Curt Kenoyer, the Assistant Director for Campus Life, explained the reasoning behind the levying of the five riyal fee.  “We made the decision to charge for both those areas [the bowling and arcade games] to try and help offset the repair and maintenance equipment costs” that would inevitably occur as a result of use, he said. 



The operational budget, also, did not include having a fulltime technician maintaining the machinery, Kenoyer said, the primary reason for implementing the fee.  He also said that the bowling fee was priced at five riyals because students didn’t make the salaries faculty and staff made hence they pay a five riyal fee as opposed to the 10 riyal fee for faculty and staff.



But Jassim al-Majid, one of two students using the bowling alley, said “There’s nothing in here.  They should be putting water, at least or something to drink.”  He also said that he did not understand the purpose for paying to use the bowling since no additional services have been put in place as a result of the five riyal fee. 



This denotes a lack of communication on the side of the Student Center management as the negative attitudes of students surrounding the fee has effected the popularity of the bowling centre.  Only through word of mouth has the fee been justified to students rather than through more official channels.  Communication between students and management would make the imposition of the fee more understandable to students.  

by Saif-U-Din Alnuweiri   Apr 4th, 2011
Post your Comment
Hammad Abbasi , 6:30pm on Apr 13th, 2011
I don't like paying for what I think should be free. The student center is a place for students. Charging a fee discourages students from coming because this is something we expect should be provided from the get go. Especially in light of the fact that there are no additional services being offered after the price change. It seems very unfair to have the bowling center be free, and then start charging. It portrays QF in a very bad light. It causes inconvenience for students who don't have change on them and creates a whole mess of problems of how should we receive and log the cash.

I feel that if they needed to cover costs, they could have used a better pricing model. Why should people pay 5 riyals per game? Can we not have a prepaid monthly charge, so if you want to use the bowling center, charge 50 for the whole month and you can use it as many times as you want. It is easier to process monthly cash flows and students are far more likely to get this package because it means that they can use the bowling center as many times as they want on a per monthly basis. It encourages the use of the bowling and arcade area far more than it discourages. This is how most successful telecommunication companies abroad charge their customers, and it works wonders for them.

This option should be considered because the goal of the student center is to first and foremost make it a 'hub' for student activity and the idea of a 'per game' charge violates this primary goal.
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