Athletic & Wellness Center: New Semester, New Rules

AWC
After a widly successful Fall 2020 semester with no known COVID-19 transmissions traced to the facility, the demand increased substantially during the initial weeks of the spring semester. The new changes are designed to accomodate more students assuming that the number of new COVID cases remain the same. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Of all the great places students can workout on campus, the Athletic and Wellness Center (AWC) has always been a hot spot. Students who were here last semester are more than familiar with the rules that come with using the AWC, but are all students aware of the changes that have been implemented from last semester to this?

To start, this spring semester has included more in person classes than last, so naturally more students are on campus. More students on campus equals more students using the AWC facilities, and the center has accommodated for that. There are more workout options than there were last semester. The indoor track is offered to three students for 30 minute sessions with a 10 minute buffer period in between. During that session, students also have the option to workout on mats in two cove areas off the track.

Table tennis is also a new option for students. Two friends can sign up for an hour time slot Monday through Thursday from five to 10 p.m. The equipment can be rented through the front desk but students are encouraged to bring their own paddles and ball if they have them. Workout choices aren’t the only things that have changed about the AWC this semester, though. There have also been some recent policy changes that students may not yet be aware of.

First, registration for any given session has changed to open 48 hours prior to the start of session time. Last semester, students could theoretically sign up for a session weeks in advance. Assistant Wellness & Recreation Director/Aquatics Director Kevin Makarewicz said this was changed to make sure students are only signing up for sessions they really plan on attending, because when someone signs up but doesn’t show, it could take away from another student’s opportunity to use the session at that time.

Secondly, students might remember how last semester if they had a double session they would have to leave the center and renter at the front. Now they don’t have to leave, but swiping at the front remains the same.

“The new policy of not having to leave the facility is designed to help out the students, especially in the winter months to not have to bundle up to leave the facility to come back in to unbundle and continue their workout in the new area, after checking in with the front desk,” Makarewicz said. “The students seem appreciative of it and we hope to have it be able to continue, since it is for the benefit of the students using the facility! However, if we find it being abused, then we will have to return to the old policy and procedure of having everyone leave out the designated exits to then re-swipe in.”

However this does not mean students can bounce back and forth between facilities.

“Students who are signing up for back-to-back sessions or sessions that overlap are to completely finish their workout in the first area, and grab all their belongings and show the monitor their next reservation on their phones, to then head up to the front desk to re-swipe in and then move to the second area,” Makarewicz said. “They should not be going back and forth between areas, even if they are signed up for both.”

The rule change adds a bit more responsibility for staff of the AWC as they need to check the students phones to ensure they really do have another session in a different area, but Makarewicz commends his staff, saying they are the reason the AWC can operate so efficiently.

Makarewicz added that although the demand for facility times has definitely increased this semester, there are still openings at night for those struggling to get a spot during peak hours in the morning or early afternoon.

About Emily O'Neil 114 Articles
Emily O’Neil is a third-year public relations major with a minor in creative writing, originating from Clifton Park, NY. This is her sixth semester on the Oracle and second as Sports Editor. Her favorite team is the New York Yankees even though they keep disappointing her. You can reach her by emailing oneile1@newpaltz.edu.