This week’s email to campus regarding the extension of the gym’s hours sparked a lot of discussion on campus this week. It was nice to see that a student’s efforts to improve the campus were taken seriously and the administration chose to better our school. It’s important to listen to the student voice, identify issues and solutions and then find ways to implement them.
With extended hours of the fitness center also comes extended pool hours, more fitness classes and more intramural athletics opportunities. If group fitness classes and open swim hours are extended later into the evenings, this may allow students who are in class or meetings during the day or early evening the opportunity to utilize these resources. Those who choose to participate in intramurals will also benefit from the increase in opportunities, whether it is in number of sports or in scheduling.
The addition of the uphill basketball court is also a great achievement for student activity. Since the court was built early in the summer, both it and the court by the KLARC have been in constant use, indicating that the addition of another outdoor court was a necessity.
With all of these pluses to the changes being made by Rec services come some negatives as well. For those who work at the gym as lifeguards, weight room attendants or even the guys at the check-in desk, these extended hours late into the night will probably cut into their personal time. However, if more students are given the opportunity to fill these roles as work study or on campus jobs, it’s just one more plus for the changes being made.
Another concern are the days chosen for late-night extension. Why are Friday and Saturday nights included, but not Sunday and Monday nights? With the social culture on campus, we would expect more students to hit the gym after 10 p.m. when there aren’t any parties going on. The social culture may not just create a lack of attendance on Friday and Saturday nights, but it could also convince students to attempt to work out when intoxicated, something unsafe for them and a disruption for others in the gym. While it’s not acceptable for anyone to behave in this fashion, it’s an issue that is definitely a possible problem.
Overall, the decision to listen to a student’s pleas and meet the athletic demand on campus is encouraging and gives students more opportunities to fit living a healthy lifestyle into their schedules. This initial change also paves the way for more adjustments and larger changes later on.