Rec Center adjusts hours and dress code policy

Morgan Jaborsky

Members of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center can anticipate a change in summer hours from previous years, a new shirt policy, the introduction of the Flash Pass and a new age-restriction policy beginning this summer.

The rec center has always had a reduced schedule in the summer, but this year it will remain open between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., closing two hours earlier. Summer weekday hours are between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The new shirt policy allows users of fitness equipment to wear tank tops and sleeveless shirts as opposed to previously, when only shirts with full sleeves were allowed, which many members found uncomfortable while working out.

The new Flash Pass is a card issued to members that will help guarantee a spot in classes that are often filled to capacity. Flash Pass holders can reserve a place in a class up to an hour in advance and until ten minutes before the class begins. Non-Flash Pass holders would have to wait in a standby line for access.

Members 16 and older can now use facilities without adult supervision, a privilege previously reserved for members 18 and older.

“Parents said, ‘If my 16-year-old can operate a 2,000 pound vehicle, why can’t he work out by himself?’ and we listened,” said Jason Hawk, marketing coordinator for the Department of Recreation.

Some younger members may be out of luck– the Children’s Activity Center will not re-open because of a lack of use. But kids can still enjoy the rec center with their parents.

Most of the policy changes have been popular with members, but a new towel policy has been less well received.

Previously, a fresh towel was provided to wipe down each machine after every use. The new policy provides one towel and a spray bottle of disinfectant per machine. This policy saves money and energy in terms of laundering towels, but some members worry that it compromises on cleanliness.

“There have been a few people that have voiced their concerns about the ‘grossness factor’,” Hawk said.

Hawk explained that the disinfectant used has a residual effect, killing any bacteria that may remain on the towel. He emphasized that the towels are used to clean the equipment, not to wipe sweat off of the skin after a workout.

“We’ve tried to educate our members as to why we made this change,” said Associate Director Kim Rufra, but she admitted that staff “probably didn’t do the best job of educating members” about towel use in the past.

Members do have alternatives to using the communal cleaning towels. Each member can be issued a towel card that will allow up to three towels, including a cleaning towel, to be checked out per visit. Towels can also be purchased in the pro shop, and members are always free to bring their own towels.

Contact news correspondent Morgan Jaborsky at [email protected].