Organizations reserving Wellness Center ‘annoys’ students

Ryan Stoeltje

Students and staff  describe the Wellness Center with one word—convenient. The Wellness Center is a facility equipped with an out door pool, a gymnasium, and a second floor filled with free weights and other workout machines. Classes such as, Zumba, spinning class, circuit training, and yoga are taught at The Wellness Center. Any student who is enrolled with a valid ID can use the facility—most of the time.

If any student or members of an organization wanted to reserve any facility in the Wellness Center, all they would have to do is email Caleb Hannon, assistant director of the wellness and recreational sports, with details on the event. There is no fee if any student organization wanted to reserve a facility in Wellness Center; however, that may change if a non-student organization wanted to make a reservation.

According to campus policy on facility rental, most campus facilities are available for rental by members of the community. 

Danielle Adams, marketing senior, said, “I don’t think the Wellness Center should be able to be reserved because I pay to use the facility so my time to use it shouldn’t be taken away.”

Hannon explained what requirements are needed to reserve the room.

“A facility most likely can’t be reserved for a certain amount of hours or days because this facility is for all students. Once again it depends on the event and the people that the event would be for,” Hannon said. 

 Students feel that an athletic organization should instead hold practices in the gym at the D.L. Ligon Coliseum rather than the gym in the Wellness Center. Students use the gymnasium often. Athletic teams that reserve the gym could create conflicts with the students.

While some students are given the impression they’re being taken advantage of, others believe organizations have every right to reserve the Wellness Center.

Al Hassan, engineering senior, said, “I mean yeah we pay a fee to use the Wellness Center, but then again I’m sure organizations making the reservation are paying a fee as well.” Even if an organization isn’t affiliated with the school, they are still required to pay a fee.

One reason students think an athletic organization shouldn’t be able to reserve the Wellness Center gym is because students pay a fee to use the facility. Students pay a recreation fee of $120 per semester. Students are allowed to use the Wellness Center as long as this fee is paid, however, only varsity athletes can use the facilities in the D.L. Ligon Coliseum, including the weight room. 

Clifton Hines, business management senior, said, “I completely understand if under certain conditions a team needed to have a practice, but I feel like the coliseum would be a more logical choice, especially since students like myself use the gym and the weight room every day.”

There have been occasions where the Wellness Center was closed for an event regulated through campus. According to Cindy Ashlock, executive assistant to the president, on Feb.13, 2015 the president’s office held a Valentine’s party for donors at the Wellness Center. The facility was closed the whole day and re-opened the next day at noon. 

Avery Whaite, mass communication junior, said, “It annoys me when I’m not able to use the Wellness Center because someone reserved it. If I’m not able to go to the gym even though I pay for it,I might as well get a membership somewhere else.”