Castleton has an open-door policy when it comes to allowing students, faculty and surrounding community members to use its facilities, but students don’t exactly love this idea, especially when it comes to “open gym time.”
Athletic Director Deanna Tyson is in charge of both Glenbrook Gym and the S.H.A.P.E Gym. She said both are basically open to everyone, including the community, as long as they are treating the facilities with respect and paying a membership fee if they aren’t a student or faculty member.
Yet, this open-to-everyone idea is what students find most frustrating.
Freshman Taylor Peters likes to go to the gym with his buddies often, but said he gets frustrated when elementary or middle school-aged kids are occupying it.
“It’s just really inconvenient when I want to play basketball because that’s how I exercise. And there are other kids, younger kids who aren’t paying the tuition that we pay, and they get to use our facilities,” he said.
He’s not the only one who feels this way. Out of nine students interviewed, all expressed disappointment at not being able to use the gyms during open gym times because of too many young kids running around.
“I feel frustrated that I pay to go to school here and I am supposed to be able to use the facilities when they are available, but they often seem to be taken up by people who don’t pay the tuition that students do,” junior Jake Jones said.
Senior Eric Dowd has another issue, and it has to do with supervision of the younger kids.
“It’s annoying because they don’t have the membership to be in there and there are no parents watching them,” he said.
However, both Tyson and Athletics Administrative Assistant Diane Saltis are aware of young kids being in the gym without memberships and have recently been monitoring and cracking down on who is in the gym, especially Glenbrook.
The crackdown comes in part because of damaged property when younger kids are using the facilities.
“We’ve gotten pretty good because the high school kids aren’t respecting the facilities so we’ve really gotten a lot stricter with kicking kids out because we are tired of the destruction,” Tyson said.
There have been outside entry doors to the building broken, inside doors to the S.H.A.P.E. Gym broken, windows cracked, and kids have walked all over wet floors making them dirty, Saltis said.
To use either of the gyms, community members must pay a fee of $5 each time they visit, which should be given to a student running the front desk in Glenbrook after 4 p.m. Another option is to buy a membership in the athletics office with Saltis.
Memberships require that a person be 16 years or older, otherwise they need adult supervision when using the gyms.
Saltis further clarified that community members, for the most part, are supposed to be using the S.H.A.P.E Gym to do whatever activities they would like, not Glenbrook. Glenbrook is really only supposed to be utilized by students, faculty, athletes, or by people who have rented out the space.
Although community members have been allowed to use Glenbrook in the past, the college would like to keep it very limited now because of the damage done to the facility.
However, Saltis said during spring, open gym is very limited in either gym anyway because basketball is going on and baseball and softball also use them until the weather clears.
As long as students aren’t harming anything, Tyson doesn’t mind the facilities being used,
“I’d be upset if it wasn’t being used all the time. It’s open space that kids can use and it’s good physical activity for them,” Tyson said.