Sean McGinley (email@example.com)
The recently renovated Fitness Center is a place on campus open and available to all students. The Center’s open gym hours allow any member of the campus community to utilize the equipment and space that it has to offer. Not only that, but the Fitness Center is also known as the location where Ursinus’s many sports teams participate in their workouts and lifting sessions. So, given its dual use by both the athletic and non-athletic student population at Ursinus, what does the average, non-athletic student think about the Fitness Center?
For Liam Reilly, class of 2024, the Ursinus Fitness Center is a great resource on campus. He points to the “wide availability of equipment” and the “ease of access” as two areas in particular that the Fitness Center excels at. The added benefit of “slamming a smoothie down at Natural” doesn’t hurt, either. His only gripe? Reilly wishes there were more introductory-level classes on equipment usage and the building of a workout schedule at the Fitness Center. While he managed to learn a lot of this on his own, Reilly thinks that a selection of introductory classes could help other students get used to things along with being “a good way to bring more non-athletes into the gym.”
Jake Harris shares a similar sentiment. “If you manage to get there at a good time, you can get to do what you want without getting in the way of anyone else,” says Harris. Still, Harris thinks that the experience could be improved, especially for the non-athlete population. “The Fitness Center could have better hours that are available for all students, especially later at night and on the weekend,” says Harris. The Fitness Center’s hours on Monday through Friday are from 6:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., while on weekends they are from 12:00pm to 5:00 P.M. Open gym hours are usually designated as any time after 4 P.M. on weekdays. These set hours, particularly on the weekends, were consistently brought up as a potential area of improvement for the Fitness Center amongst the non-athlete student body. Shannon Henes emphasized increased weekend hours as a must for the gym going forward. Still, Henes recognized that, given the Center’s use by both athletes and non-athletes alike, this might be hard to pull off. “Ideally, it would be easier to go without being in the way of sports’ teams, although I don’t know how they’d fix that problem,” says Hennes.
Overall, it would seem as though public sentiment surrounding the Fitness Center has improved amongst the non-athletic community, particularly after some of the struggles faced during the pandemic. Ease of access, equipment availability, and available space to do what you want were all continually cited amongst the Fitness Center’s strengths. Still, many saw the Fitness Center’s stringent hours, particularly at night and on weekends, as an area of much needed improvement. Hopefully, going forward the Fitness Center can take these criticisms into consideration to make the space a great one for athletes and non-athletes alike.