gym equip KE, gm

Katharine Enoch

Buchanan Kiewit, not well equipped
By Katharine Enoch The Lawrence athletic facilities fail to provide students with quality workout equipment necessary for the physical development of students as varsity athletes, intramural participants, or simply the conscientious student attempting to stay fit. The sparse workout machines are outdated and not well maintained.
Many students opt to apply for membership at the Appleton YMCA, where there is a wide breadth of workout options, as well as a maintained level of quality. A temporary YMCA membership is free through the university, and has become a fallback utilized by Lawrence for students, dissatisfied with the workout options on campus.
Alexander Gym offers a weight room with “hardly any machines” in addition to the gym facilities, but it “needs a complete overhaul,” opined Travis Wuttke, a LU athlete who chooses to work out at the YMCA instead. “I would go to Alexander if it was up to par.” Considering that our athletics teams have been doing really well, the school spirit towards athletics has increased in light of their success.
The Buchanan Kiewit Rec Center is the home for intramural sports and student recreation. Yet, the equipment used in the Rec Center is “old, chain link technology from the 70’s,” according to Wuttke, who suspects that the machines were most likely donated. Not only are the machines dated, they are not kept in good condition either. The workout room offers three treadmills, one elliptical machine, a stationary bike, and maybe a dozen weight machines- not a lot of variety.
Compared to similar ACM schools, Lawrence needs to consider sprucing up the athletic equipment. Luther and Coe College have within the last two years built new gym facilities complete with climbing walls, indoor courts, weight rooms equipped with banks of new cardio machines and television sets, nine free weight pads, as well as a diverse array of machine options.
“It’s always busy,” says Mark Rheinschmidt of the Coe College facility. “Whether it is football or golf, it is used year round, but mainly for leisure activity.” He went on to say that many Coe students “don’t go off campus to go shopping. They stay on campus and work out or play sports.”
Nick Heeren of Luther College says that the climbing wall in their facility is “very popular with all the students who don’t get to go to places like Colorado with natural rock walls.”
This past season, a letter proposing a renovation of the Alexander weight room were drafted by representatives of SAAC and passed around by students and athletes for signatures. In a letter from the SAAC representative for the football team, Nick Korn states, “I feel that in order to successfully compete with other teams in our conference and Division III, we need an improved weight room facility.” He went on to point out that, “Trying to get the entire football team a successful weight room workout during practice is nearly impossible due to the lack of size and poor quality of our weight room.” Copies of the letter were sent to President Warch, Dean Murray, and the Head of the Athletics Department.
This attempt indicates a dissatisfaction of the student body with the gym facilities Lawrence is currently providing. In a time when we are discovering more about the necessity of regular exercise and its beneficial impact on health, Lawrence should be attempting to encourage healthy habits by making quality workout equipment available and convenient to the LU students.