Extend HCC Fitness Center Hours

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Many students - both athletes and non athletes - struggle to get time in the gym at Heartland Community College. For some students, it is not as big of an issue since they will just get a gym membership somewhere else, but they are the minority. For students who already struggle with having little money, it is crazy to think that s/he would have to pay money for another gym when that student is already paying for a gym that s/he is unable to use. The fitness hours need to be extended to benefit all students, both athletes and non-athletes, in order for students to get their “money’s worth.”

Why have a public gym located on a college campus open to anyone who attends that college or anyone in the community if the hours aren’t flexible for all? Heartland Community College has a Fitness and Recreational Center (FRC) located on campus that is open to all Heartland athletes, students and anyone in the community. But with this being said the hours are not flexible enough for most people. The hours are 7am to 7pm Monday-Friday, Saturday 8am to 2pm and closed on Sunday. These hours may seem ideal but when you have 4 sports teams needing a place to practice but also have room for community members it gets crammed. For example, you may think you could come right on in when the FRC opens, but the boy’s baseball team has morning lifting, and you think you could come after work, but baseball, softball and girls’ and boys’ soccer all have practice/lifting right after each other, therefore the gym is busy all day. This is not ideal for community members wanting a place to work out and athletes having no space to practice either.

Students are already paying fees towards the fitness center as part of their tuition. According to the Heartland Community College website, students currently pay $7.00 per credit hour to “help fund activities that enhance student life.” Unfortunately, students continue to be willing to pay extra money towards an additional gym membership to ensure they have the opportunity to work out, especially if they are athletes. Why should a full time student (12 credit hours) pay an extra 84 dollars in their tuition if they will still have to still pay an extra amount to sign up to get a gym membership somewhere else because of the limited time at the Fitness Center at Heartland?

In comparison to the Heartland Fitness Center, two universities in Bloomington-Normal also have Recreational Centers. On both campuses, Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, the recreational centers are open until midnight, according to their websites. Katie Birdsall works at Illinois State University’s rec center. She agreed that later hours are critical for students. She stated that later hours are beneficial for students with jobs, classes, and who just need a time to relieve stress. She surveyed that from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm it is still busy but dies down by around 11:00 pm. Tony Bankston and Jeremy Spencer, both from Wesleyan’s recreational center, shared similar thoughts when interviewed.  

We are losing students and community members by all the traffic and the inefficient hours to gyms that stay open longer to avoid the traffic. For example, Illinois State University Student Fitness Center is open Monday-Thursday 5:30am-midnight, Friday 5:30am- 8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday noon-8pm. These hours are giving students/athletes and community members freedom to workout whenever they want, whether they have work and can only work out after, or if it is easier for them to work out early in the morning they have that option too. Not only are the early and late hours beneficial, have the Student Fitness open on Sunday’s allows anyone who is busy during the week, an extra day on the weekend to get a nice workout in or allows athletes to keep working on their fundamentals.

Therefore, we the undersigned, are petitioning to extend the HCC Rec Center Hours. This will not only benefit students and community members but also help the athletes as well by giving them longer practice/lifting times and not feel like they are in the way.



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