Many students chose to exercise as a way to relieve stress and to help keep off the infamous “freshman fifteen.” Finding time to work out while juggling class, work and extracurricular activities can be challenging, but when students do have the opportunity to work out, many find the options that are available in Olson Forum are limited.
Along with the equipment on the workout balcony, there used to be a variety of weight lifting equipment on the track in Olson Forum that was available to students whenever Olson was open. This year, this equipment has been moved to where the old wrestling room was and is now usually occupied by athletic teams. Cobber athletics have two weight rooms, leaving the general student body with little access to equipment. One weight room is open for student use, but only for about two hours in the evening Monday through Friday.
Senior Ellie O’Brien has raised awareness to this issue.
“Many students have class, work or meetings during these times leaving students with very little choices to work out.” O’Brien said. “It can also be very intimidating being in there while an athletic team trains.”
O’Brien has reached out to many in the athletic department, but has made little progress. The problem of damaging the equipment, or stealing has been a large factor in the limited hours, since the space is usually unsupervised.
There was a sign posted next to one of the weight rooms that encouraged students to join a local gym in the Fargo/Moorhead area. O’Brien expressed that many students cannot afford to have a regular gym membership, or even the transportation.
“The college has been focusing a lot on health and wellness this year, and that should include both physical and mental health,” O’Brien said. “It feels like the college is limiting students from being able to achieve this.”
O’Brien also mentioned how being able to lift makes her feel.
“I feel more confident, strong and healthy when I am able to lift, and I want other students to be able to feel the same way,” she said.
Senior Eric Watt has felt frustrated with Concordia’s weight room since his freshman year.
“Unless you are on a sports team, there is a very limited amount of time that you can use the weight room. The hours are not accommodating to students who are juggling class, work and other activities,” Watt said.
Watt is a member of Concordia’s baseball team and has run into the same frustrations during the season.
“Each sports team has a designated time where they have access to the weight room, but it doesn’t give students a chance to use the weight room for extra workout opportunities,” he said. “It could also be a possible employment opportunity for students.”
While there are lifting options for students in the workout balcony, there is a lack of space and it isn’t the most desirable option.
“The weight room should be open to all students, and should be given the same opportunity to use the facility as the athletes,” Watt said.
Senior Noah Johnson shared similar thoughts.
“I am a proponent of increased hours in the weight room for all students. However, I respect that athletic teams take precedent.”
Johnson also brought up Concordia’s goal to promote wellness among its students.
“It’s frustrating that Concordia preaches wellness for all of its students, yet we have limited access. It seems like it is a step backwards,” he said.
The current hours in this weight lifting room are from 7:30-9:00PM Monday through Thursday. The workout balcony in Olson Forum is open from 5AM to midnight daily. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.