Increased enrollment may cause longer wait at rec center

Laura Rushnok

Kent State students who encounter long lines for treadmills and ellipticals during the school year can expect the wait to continue and increase with rising enrollment.

Some students said they feel as if working out is a competition to see who can be the first to sign in to use one of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s 80 units of cardio equipment.

“The only time I have available to work out is between 5 and 8 p.m.,” said Allison Giersz, senior fashion merchandising major. “I usually have to wait at least a half hour for a treadmill or elliptical. It’s really discouraging.”

Rec center marketing and membership director, Paula Murray, said flexibility is the key to avoiding the lines.

She said if someone is set on one piece of equipment, a wait is possible, but if a student is willing to compromise on what is already available, it can be avoided.

“As big as this building is, it’s amazing how quick you start to run out of room for things,” Murray said. “Even if we had the money to go out and buy 50 more pieces of equipment, we don’t have the room for them. I wouldn’t say we have plans to expand, because we don’t have funding – it’s more of a hope.”

That hope was taken to the Development and Foundation Office about two years ago to look for donors to help expand.

“It’s very, very low on the priorities of the university,” Murray said. “If someone wanted to give $5 million to add something to a building, I’m not sure that the rec center will come up as the (first choice).”

However, Steve Sokany, associate vice president of development and foundation, said he does not recall a request being made.

“I am not aware of any request to expand,” Sokany said. “That is not on our radar at this point.”

While other schools, such as the University of Akron and Ohio University, offer free aerobic classes for students and members, Kent State charges $2 per class and $25 for an instructional eight week course. This gives Kent State students access to some of the newest forms of exercise.

“(Ohio University) is another school that made a decision to make their building all-inclusive, but what they struggle with is they can’t add any new programming, they can’t do anything new and they can’t keep being up to date because they don’t have the money to do it,” Murray said.

Murray estimates that about 12 new aerobic classes are added each year to keep things fresh. The list of classes to be added this year will come out mid-July.

Additionally, the rec center can afford to offer an extensive list of Adventure Center excursions and various sporting trips, at cost for students.

Contact student recreation and wellness reporter Laura Rushnok at [email protected].