Students: fitness center needs serious improvement

Photo courtesy of Max Tempel.
Fitness center struggles with machine spacing.

CU Professor Andy Weinberg has been at Castleton University for 10 years and hasn’t seen one thing change in the Glenbrook fitness center.

“With the exception of the Nordic machine attached to the wall in the back near the stationary bikes, I’ve seen zero improvements in ten years. I hate to be critical, but there are quite a few things that can be improved and wouldn’t be too expensive,” Weinberg said.

The workout facility is open to CU students, faculty, staff and the Castleton community as a whole.

But the often-used spot on campus seems to be neglected a bit with old and outdated equipment and poor use of space.

There are broken mirrors, bars that are bent, machines that are broken or damaged and worn out mats, to name a few Weinberg said.

Castleton students agree with Weinberg’s comments and would like to see real change.

“I think the fitness center can serve as a really good resource to our students regarding self-regulation and teaching them really good health skills, but I think there needs to be more space for more students to utilize that resource as well as high quality machines in regards to student safety,” said frequent gym user Izzy Gogarty.

The fitness center as a whole seems to be catching criticism from CU faculty and students and has caught the attention of Castleton softball coach Eric Ramey, who oversees it.

“People will bring things up to me that they’d like to see improved and sometimes we are able to come through on those suggestions and other times we aren’t. We certainly could update our equipment, but we don’t have the space for it,” Ramey said.

Ramey and others have different ideas on how they can make some improvements to show critics that they hear their voices.

“We hope in the near future to downsize the fly machine to a single rather than double to save some space. I’d love to add a band rack. That is the most popular thing I’ve heard from people who come to me,” he said. “Additionally, I believe the desk is misplaced and takes up space that we could use better but that comes into a financial piece that is more complicated than just making a quick change. I’d like to upgrade a better check-in system to track who is coming in to the gym.”

Senior Zachary Gebo thinks that some adjustments would bring more traffic in Glenbrook.

“I feel like there needs to be a lot of updates and I feel if some improvements were made you would see more students utilizing its resources,” Gebo said.

Weinberg believes it could potentially could make or break a student’s desire to be a Spartan.

“I think a quality fitness center is a selling point for many students. I think it should be super clean, organized, and up to date,” he said.

Both Gogarty and Gebo agree that although change needs to be made, not everyone understands who is in charge on the back end and not everyone understands what needs to be done to make change.

“I think there is misunderstanding on whose responsibility it is to keep the fitness center up to date and financially. In regards to certain areas in the school, SGA will purchase things and give them as a gift to the school and at that point the school has a hard time differentiating is it an SGA project or is it ours? I don’t think there is a pinpoint person to upkeep it,” Gogarty said.

“I don’t think enough students and gym users as a whole recognize the improvements that need to be made because they don’t know enough about the equipment,” Gebo said.

Weinberg, who lives a healthy lifestyle and has been around a fitness environment for years, certainly understands what should be done.

He thinks this idea of being uniformed is the university’s lack of teaching to Castleton students on fitness and health.

“No one trains students, faculty, staff, or the public on how to properly use the equipment or how to set up a program. Anyone can walk in and they don’t for that reason alone, they don’t know what to do,” Weinberg said.

Ramey understands the issues but because of monetary and space factors, the fitness center may just need to stay as is for now.

“I love the people that come in throughout the week, I appreciate the input and I get to see students and people in their own realm. I think the fitness center is always going to try to evolve and hopefully we can make some improvements, it’s just not a fast process,” Ramey said.

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