Fewer people working out at Ball State facilities

At 2 p.m. on Monday, people would typically be using the basketball courts. Now they are empty and locked because of the new hours. 
At 2 p.m. on Monday, people would typically be using the basketball courts. Now they are empty and locked because of the new hours. 

MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) -- It's been several weeks since the fall semester started and the campus became much more lively as students returned. However, there is a place where you would expect to see more people, but there are not.

Because of the social distancing policy and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Ball State, the Jo Ann Gora Recreation and Wellness Center has reopened under a brand new policy.

According to Benjamin Peak, the director of recreation services, over the first two weeks of the semester, fewer people came to the recreation center. From Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, the total student participation rate was about 6,007 total students. However, at the same time last year, the number was 15,799.  

“Less participation is understandable based on a variety of reasons involving COVID-19. All decisions and actions are made with health and safety as the primary focus,” Peak said. 

Fewer people are exercising in the different facilities of the recreation center as well.

Some facilities, like the Ball Gym track, indoor turf, racquetball courts and more are closed for the semester. Those areas that are still open have their own rules to ensure the public health safety. 

To use some facilities, you must make a reservation.

Some students say they have concerns about the new recreation facility hours. 

Socra Wu, an international student, used to work out in the gym, but says she has not gone back for a while.

“Now I have never been there for two weeks,” she said. “One side is about my concerns about the COVID-19, the most important side is about the open hours in the fitness room which unfortunately conflicts with my schedule.” 

Tylor Pipkin, another Ball State student, thinks the new hours are actually beneficial.

“Well, I think it’s good,” he said. “When I think about this time, I think it’s smart. You know COVID could spread and I want to stay at Ball State.”

There are some other actions done by the recreation center to keep students safe. For example, the university has installed multiple hand sanitizer stations throughout the facilities. Patrons can also swipe their own IDs to minimize the exchange of IDs.

For additional information, please visit the Ball State University COVID-19 website.

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