Gyms should be well-maintained, and I think that statement applies to college gyms as well. All gyms have certain unwritten rules that people expect them to uphold, such as a clean, friendly environment, and functioning equipment.
If you go into the gym at Mercer you will see problems you wouldn’t find at most gyms — at least not for months at a time. There are multiple machines that are broken, missing equipment for weights, etc.
This proves to be a problem when attempting to perform certain workouts.
When I go into the gym I do not have the highest standards in the world, I simply expect a gym to have the basics. By basics I mean functioning equipment and having the proper equipment for machines.
The message that is sent by having a poor setup in the gym demonstrates that health and fitness is something that seems to not be important to the university. If a school is going to stress the importance of an education, why not also put the same emphasis on taking care of yourself?
The expectations that a university should have for itself in regards to a wellness center should be one of high standards. However, when I walk into the gym here on campus, the only feeling that I experience is one of deep sadness.
The amount of machines that are currently out of order is far from acceptable. The universal cable machine that we have is missing multiple attachments, and because of that, limits the amount of exercises that you should be able to do on it.
We are already lacking a regular squat rack — which you can find in most high schools — and many of the benches in the weight room are wobbly or uneven. That is not only irritating but could also lead to injury.
I’m not the only one who seems to notice these problems.
Jeff Clark, a senior, who uses the gym nearly everyday said, “The staff are slow at fixing the equipment and do a poor job of maintaining it. Even the basketball court could be better maintained.”
Sophomore Tanner Thompson said “My biggest issue is that when something breaks they don’t fix it. I want to do certain workouts and when something I need breaks, I need it replaced.”
When dealing with the average person, the gym may seem to be adequate, but how often are “average” gym users at the gym? I routinely see the same people at the gym and that is not a coincidence.
The people who workout consistently are those who need more equipment than others. If the gym was used heavily by all students on campus there would be a huge issue in regards to the amount of cardio machines, considering that there are already a few that are broken.
The amount of displeasure by the consistent users should be enough for the school to allow for a larger amount of funding to go towards the gym.
Senior Vanessa Breslin said, “I want to be able to do squats but because there isn’t a squat rack I am out of luck. Even the mats that we currently have are old and need to be replaced.”
There was an instance last spring where part of the cable machine broke in April, and was left without being repaired until August. That is far too long of a time span to allow for something to go unattended.
Sophomore Greg Kilby said, “Most of the equipment in the gym is old and worn down and that even includes basketballs. When I go down to play basketball I want to be able to use a ball that is not from the 1940’s.”
I expect a gym to be kept clean and organized, but that is not the case with Mercer’s gym. Almost no one wipes down their equipment, the staff only occasionally does it, and the towels that are put out for people to wipe down their equipment are rarely changed out.
All of these things combine for a gym that feels dirty and unkempt.
Senior Dave Barton said, “When I go into the gym I expect to be able to use the variety of the equipment that they have, but because things are so often broken I can’t do many of the exercises that I am accustomed to doing.”
The school needs to take note of the complaints that students have about the current state of the gym.
The gym is part of the university and needs the proper funding in order for it to run effectively. When something breaks it shouldn’t be five months before we see it replaced.
As stated before, the school has shown a priority to advancing students’ education here at Mercer. The same should be said about the health and wellness.
The director for Employee Wellness, Rachel May, has done a great job of putting together a program for employees that not only creates a better awareness of the importance of personal health but also creates motivation for the employees.
A program like that for students would not only increase knowledge and the overall health of the students on campus, but also give the gym the attention it needs to be better maintained.
Comments or questions about this opinion can be sent to [email protected]