If you’re searching for the campus community’s perception of the Rec Center, then look no further than its 2.2-star rating on the Vagaro app. Honestly, writing this article feels redundant; patrons of the rec center have used this platform to voice their concerns and displeasures. However, I’ll reiterate them here in the hopes that the administration may finally take action if it’s published in its precious school newspaper. I’ll make my opinion clear from the outset – the Rec Center is a blight on campus, and while it holds promise, the neglect it has received over the past twenty years has made it just another grievance of students.
Let’s start with the positives as they exist at the time of writing this article. There are (some) weights. There are some lockers to store your things. There are machines like treadmills and ellipticals that generally function. There is a roof and four walls. And last, but certainly least, this facility is available to the Mercyhurst community as a whole.With the (arguable) positives out of the way, I regret to inform you, dear reader, that there is not enough space in this entire newspaper to list the negatives. But that shall not deter me from trying to list some of the more pressing issues.
For starters, I am fairly confident that many of the machines in the weight room are older than I am. There’s a poster in the old spin room on heart rate targets that’s dated back to 1988. Then there’s the issue of its atmosphere. I’m not expecting a three-story gym that takes up half of campus, but could we try to get something other than artificial lighting in there? The lack of windows, coupled with the musty appearance of the room itself, makes me feel like I went to someone’s basement gym in a house with flooding problems. And do not get me started on trying to find something you may need. If you’re on a quest for an open space, the floor is totally crowded with virtually no room for students to stretch. Do you need a 25-pound plate? Do not waste your time looking for one during your hour appointment since you’d have better luck going to the manufacturer’s factory and getting a new one. The fact that there are no medicine balls is also a tough pill to swallow. It feels like I spend more of my time at the gym looking for the weights or a functional machine that I need than I do actually working out. I’d like to reiterate that I only say this because I know how important a gym can be for college students.
After a long day of classes and work, we deserve to have a place where we can work out and enjoy doing so. And Mercyhurst absolutely has the power to make that a reality. But instead it chooses to settle for subpar, prioritizing a renovated Athletic Center that only some students can use as compared to the widely accessible Rec Center that is in desperate need of refurbishment. Mercyhurst has a duty to do right by all its students by including the Rec Center in its future renovation plans, because the longer it waits, the deeper the dissatisfaction of its students grows.