Yes, it happened again: the gym was closed the week before Spring Break. While I am glad that our school has had the opportunity to host the A-Sun tournament because I know it brings in a lot of revenue, I think it is unfair that the University Center workout area is closed the week of the tournament that also happens to be the week of midterm exams.
Many students, including myself, work out as a way to de-stress, and the fact that the gym is closed during one of the most stressful weeks of the semester is ridiculous. While I understand that the A-Sun basketball teams need to practice, I also understood before I came to Mercer that as a student, my tuition would pay for me to use the gym facilities every day excluding some holidays.
Never was it mentioned that the gym would be closed during midterms due to basketball tournaments.
Even so, I argue that both sides can be accommodated. I think the basketball teams can practice and the students can work out. All that needs to be done is set aside an allotted time period of three hours each day for students to use the gym, and at any other times the gym can be closed to allow the teams to practice. Alternatively, I also argue that the basketball teams can practice at the same times that students are using the workout facility. There are barriers that are already installed and can be pulled down. The practicing team could use the farthest court from the workout equipment and the track could be closed. That way, no one could see what the team was doing during its closed practice.
Also, every day of the tournament four teams are knocked out of the brackets. It is therefore plausible that with each successive day, less practice time needs to be set aside for the visiting teams due to decreasing numbers, and it should be easier to allow Mercer students to use the gym facilities for a certain amount of time.
Another reason they may close the gym is to try to get more students to attend the games, but I have news for them: not allowing students to work out is not going to encourage them to attend a basketball game they were not planning on going to anyway. It will merely stress them out because they cannot use the gym during the week of midterms.
For people like me who work out every day, the finding that the gym is closed during midterms week is a serious detriment to one’s day. Yes, one may argue that students can run outside. However, many students do not feel safe running around campus, and others have torn their ACL twice and cannot run on hard concrete.
As I previously stated, midterms week is one of the two most stressful weeks during the semester, and I think with a little effort the athletic department and UC administrators can figure out a way to accommodate both the Mercer students and the visiting basketball teams. Not to mention that this happens every year the week before Spring Break, and HELLO…some people are trying to get bikini-ready.
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