By Johanna Weeks
After Memorial Hall Fitness Center reopened Feb. 15, faculty are remaining aware of the risks of COVID-19. Memorial Hall Gym has opened its doors and is mandating safe, socially distanced exercise by offering group exercise courses to SUNY Plattsburgh students.
Due to the pandemic, new restrictions and limitations have been implemented regarding capacity and sanitation. Campus community members are required to wear face masks and socially distance while at the gym. Students are given a sanitizer and asked to sanitize the station and equipment before and after use. The new capacity limit is 33% to allow students to safely follow social distancing guidelines.
“As far as last semester, the Fitness Center and all our group exercise courses went really well,” Connie Fesette, the group exercise director who is a registered dietician and certified to coach kickboxing, group exercising and spinning, said. “I was so proud of [the students]. They wanted it to continue, and they knew how important it was. I think the facility is as clean as it’s ever been.”
There are five types of in-person group exercise classes including, yoga, hardbody, cardio/core/yoga, spin and bootcamp, now available for students to register 24 hours in advance. Each class is limited to 14 students. All group exercise classes will be held within Memorial Hall gym, except for spin classes, which will be held inside Algonquin Hall. Students are required to sign up through the app ‘IMleagues’ or at www.imleagues.com/plattsburgh. This will make contact tracing possible, if need be.
The gym is open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m Monday through Friday, and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Students are required to complete a daily health screening form before entering the gym and must participate in weekly pool testing.
Group exercise courses are an option for people to exercise and be a part of an activity within the campus community. SUNY Plattsburgh sophomore Maddy Taylor is a thrower for the track and field team and regularly goes to Memorial. She has gone to the gym once this semester and expressed some concerns about how well the staff are enforcing the guidelines and if the students are going to follow them.
“It’s a little more lenient, I feel like, than last semester,” Taylor said. “They are not watching to see if people are cleaning [equipment] or if people are working out in groups.”
However, she thinks the reopening of the gym will be beneficial for her.
“My mental health relies a lot on working out,” she said. “It’s a motivator as well. I feel like the rest of my day is more productive as I workout.”
Freshman Nicole Shocker was unable to go to the fitness center last semester and expressed her excitement to start using the fitness center when she has time.
“I feel like it’s a good idea to reopen the gym so students have the opportunity to go and exercise or participate in a group activity,” Shocker said.