Fitness Center Causes Frustration

The administration is defending itself from criticisms voiced by resident students regarding the location of the new exercise facility in the old Storm Center.

Resident students are upset because the fitness center in Century Hall was relocated to the University Center, at the start of the fall semester.

“It is a much further location. We have to walk to the other side of campus,” resident student Elizabeth Balla said. “The fitness center in Century was much more convenient.”

However, according to Jackie Lochrie, director of Student Services, the facility in Century was not appropriate as an excercise facility. “It was a lounge converted into a fitness center,” she said. “It was not designed to serve as a fitness center.”

Jose Rodriguez, dean of Student Life cited other reasons for the move.

“The students living on the first floor of Century were not able to use the lounge as their lounge. It was much more inconvenient for those students living in Century. There was more noise and hallway traffic.”

Since the Fitness Center has been relocated, the number of people using the facility has increased dramatically.

“The new center is very crowded and highly used. The numbers we tracked from the previous center were not that high,” Rodriguez said.

Jodi Cox, assistant director of Operations and Student Services said there was “too much of a disparity between the numbers,” for the University to keep the center in Century open.

Daily tallies taken to monitor the amount of people using the center show that 6,012 people used the new facility for the month of September while only 100 people per month used the old fitness center in Century.

Still, many students from the residence halls feel the fitness center in Century better catered to their needs.

“It was our own little place that we could go to and workout. [It was] much more convenient than the new center which is on the other side of campus,” Dorothy Sparrows, a sophomore computer science major, said.

Rodriguez feels the new center is beneficial to the overall campus. “It creates a pro-level fitness program that everyone can benefit from.

It is also part of the sports and recreation theme. The center is right near the baseball dium and the new soccer stadium andtheme. The center is right near the baseball stadium and the new soccer stadium and it creates the best possible fitness atmosphere.”

Another complaint from the resident students has been that the hours of the fitness center do not cater to their needs.

“The other facility was better for us; it was open on the weekends. It was definitely much more convenient,” Craig Kiptilsen, a junior finance major, said.

“It is not open on Sunday and closes by 5 p.m. on Saturday. The weekend is the time when we have a break from classes and the hours of the fitness center do not allow us to take that time and use the facility,” Balla said.

Currently, there is only an average of 40 people utilizing the center on Saturdays.

“Being reasonable, it is open six days a week, but it costs a whole lot of money to keep it open all week long,” Cox said. “However, I am more than willing to look into it if there is a large population of students that wanted the fitness center open longer on the weekends.”

According to resident student Glen Morabito a sophomore finance major, the changing of the fitness center has not addressed the problems of the old center.

“The space may be bigger now but the center gets so crowded that it does not make much of a difference. We have the same issues we had with the other fitness center,” Morabito said.

“There is still not enough room or equipment based on the amount of people using the facility,” he said.

There are no plans to build another fitness center in the residence halls. Prior to the fitness center in Century, there was one in the basement of O’Connor Hall. It was closed, however, due to leakage from the pipes.

According to Lochrie, there is no practical place to put a fitness center in the Residence Village.