Campus Fitness Center Closing


Andrew Prokop, Editing Manager

Last week, students were informed that the fitness center has been closed until further notice. This article’s writing was delayed a week to see if it was just due to regular cleaning or a maintenance problem, but it has become clear that the fitness center has been closed due to COVID related concerns. Students not wearing masks or failing to wipe down the machines, weights, and other fitness-related items after using them.

The University of Hartford, overall, has done an outstanding job handling a complicated situation. We are one of the few schools in the area that is still open and functioning in person. At the same time, we have seen neighboring schools like Trinity going online completely and the University of New Haven taking weeklong breaks from in-person learning. Through the large number of safety measures the University of Hartford has added and the policy changes, the university has done an excellent job maintaining order. Even though the campus maybe a little less lively than it once was, they have provided numerous safe activities and tried to keep students involved while being safe and allowing us to stay in person.

That being said, closing the fitness center has been one of the decisions that were poorly handled. The key to managing a complicated situation and having students following the rules is to remain consistent. Rules need to be set and enforced. If the rules keep changing, then students will become confused and less likely to follow the rules. Although the rules have not changed concerning the fitness center, the enforcement of those rules has changed.

Around campus, UHart reinforced rules very much so on an individual basis. If a student isn’t wearing a mask or gathers in groups, that student has been removed from campus. The same should have been done for the fitness center. The fitness center should be treated as a privilege to students. Open to all, assuming you follow the rules that are in place. If a student is not wearing a mask or has had to been repeatedly told about a specific rule, that student should lose the privilege of the fitness center, remove the swipe access from their card.

Rather than close down completely, take it away from the students who have not followed the rules, especially when many students are remote and don’t get the physical activity that they once were able to. Also, as we approach the colder winter months, the fitness center is more important than ever and should not have been closed to everyone.