March 1, 2024

From lack of exercise equipment to not having any space to freely work out, Wittenberg students are upset about the current condition of the university’s weight room.

Last February, Wittenberg began progress on building a new Health, Wellness and Athletic Complex that will cost the university around $52.8 million, but for the time being, it is costing the students their freedom to comfortably workout. Since the construction has caused an enormous loss of space, the biggest complaint that students have is that the weight room is always overcrowded and the environment doesn’t feel safe.

“That place is obnoxiously overcrowded all of the time and no one can ever do what they need to do because of that,” Alex McCarty, ‘18, said. “Whenever the sports teams come into the gym, they think they own the place and are inconsiderate to the other students trying to exercise. It definitely has to be a safety hazard at those times.”

On Wittenberg’s website, they advertise having two different fitness facilities: The Heinzen Strength Center and The Bob Rosencrans Fitness Center. They’re described as having new state-of-the art fitness equipment, along with a 64-piece Hammer Strength Weight System, six upright bikes, a weight resistant floor and more than 15,000 pounds of free weights. One year ago, this would have been true, but due to construction on the old field house, everything has been crammed into the fitness center and now it has significantly less to offer. Combining these facilities has caused athletes and students to have less freedom in their routines.

“Our weight room doesn’t have much; either someone is using the equipment I need or we just don’t have it, like cable machines,” Scott Morrison, ‘19, said. “Half the time it would be easier for me to pick someone up and do squats with them on my back rather than waiting for a rack to free up.”

What I find to be the most frustrating is the environment that the packed weight room creates. It’s important to have a sense of urgency at the gym, but here everyone is in a hurry to escape from the chaos that they lose their manners and forget proper weight room etiquette. Time after time, I walk to the water fountain for a second only to come back and see that someone else has already claimed the equipment that I was lucky to find in the first place. Students agree that the environment in the weight room is no longer welcoming to non-athletes.

“I hate having to use the gym here, it’s so gross and always makes me feel a little uncomfortable,” Micaela Pohlabel, ‘19, said. “I’m either afraid someone is going to hit me with their weight or I’m going to get covered in their sweat.”

Whether you exercise because you have a passion for it or because you want to avoid feeling guilty about eating a second bowl of CDR ice cream; there are ways to conquer these obstacles to make the most out of your time in the gym. Plan to go during the times that you know athletic teams wont be there (I’ve noticed that 8 a.m to 12 p.m. has the least amount of people). Plan to spend more time at the gym then what you think you’ll need. As long as you can take your time and work with the crowd, then your workout will be more successful.


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