Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Campus Recreation begins the new semester with new, COVID-safe changes

3 min read
fitness center

The fitness center will make its re-opening February 7th, 2021. | University of Mary Washington

By: Kate Sovero

Due to student and staff evaluations from the fall 2020 semester, Campus Recreation has made a few changes regarding the activities and amenities they offer.

During the fall 2020 semester, Campus Recreation offered reservation hours that allowed students to sign up for time slots to use the fitness center. Those reservations have been eliminated. 

Students like Grant Cragg, a junior communication and digital studies major on the men’s lacrosse team, said that needing to reserve a spot at the Fitness Center deterred him from working out at UMW. Cragg chose to get a gym membership off-campus instead.

“I have always planned going to the gym around my school and work schedule and never plan it in advance,” Cragg said. “Trying to reserve an hour at the last minute never worked out so I decided to get an off campus  gym membership so I could go whenever I had time.” 

Campus Recreation graduate coordinator, Caleigh Pope said that Campus Recreation took that feedback from students into account in removing the reservation hours. 

“We had feedback from students that let us know that the process of creating a reservation was keeping them away from the gym, so we wanted to streamline the process! There is now a 20-person maximum capacity for those who want to work out. Simply show up with a mask and a green student health survey from that day,” said Pope.

The Fitness Center plans to reopen for the Spring 2021 semester on Monday Feb. 7 with the following hours which differ from last semester based on patterns of use in the fall. 

The new hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4  p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. 

For a safer experience, Campus Recreation properly distanced and changed the equipment arrangements. The department plans to change the available equipment offered in the fitness center on a weekly basis to keep everything fresh and clean while allowing students and staff to try new machines each time they go. In addition, patrons are asked to clean any equipment they use during their workouts ⁠— a change from last semester, when the Campus Recreation staff were in charge of cleaning.

“Each person will be given a bottle of cleaner and a rag to wipe down any piece of equipment they use instead of cleaning wipes located throughout the gym. This will allow our staff to monitor the weight floor and ensure that each member of our community is doing their part to keep the gym clean,” said Pope.

Similar to the fall 2020 semester, some regular campus recreation offerings will still be put on hold for the first few weeks of in person classes. Campus Rec will be reevaluating the status of the Goolrick recreational spaces on a weekly basis. Group classes are currently virtual, but some classes will shift to in-person beginning Feb. 8, according to Pope. She also hopes to have more intramural sports available and the group fitness instructor prep class available later in the semester.

Campus Recreation also hopes to have club sports back in the auxiliary gym, the main gym and on the Campus Rec field. When that happens, requirements like masks and limited numbers of people at practices will be in place.

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