Two groups will surely have their issues with my proposal to extend the Longwood Fitness Center’s hours:
2. The center’s directors
Staff, understandably, has reason to be less than thrilled about the later shifts. These longer shifts will…well, be longer! And some student staff members have more important things to do. But, there is good news! First, and I feel most importantly, the extension is only a trial run, for only 4 nights, and only a total of 8 extra hours! Plus, whoever signs up for these later shifts will get paid a little extra. Not too shabby! And presumably, staff workers working at the gym enjoy the atmosphere and should appreciate the benefits of physical and mental wellness, so a 2 hour a night sacrifice for the sake of possibly bettering the students’ all around health should appear a good cause.
If the extension trial does not succeed, it’s back to the normal way of doing things.
Those in charge of the center will most likely find rescheduling a headache. When I spoke with Gus Hemmer, the associate director of campus recreation, that was his main concern. But, even so, the concern appears minuscule. He said that the budget they work with in relation to staffing would be the hassle, and also the simple fact that the schedule would need re-arranging. However, like I said in the last post, the additional cost for two late night shift works would only amount to $130 for a whole week’s work. What I am proposing in my trial run is only a 4 day plan, so the cost of employment would be even cheaper! Simply put, if the trial flops then the most they lose is less than $130 dollars. If the venture seems worth it, then financial plans and problems would be addressed later.
The two main points of resistance here are money and time. Certain groups are going to be concerned with investing money, and others will be concerned with how the demands of extra time will infringe on their personal lives. But really, the possible outcomes are so much more beneficial than the costs- both in time and money.
For one, as I explained earlier, the only real cost would be the $130 dollar increase (not even). That is really pocket change considering the whole of the university. The whole point of the trial run is to see if the plan is even worth a permanent extension or maybe even a permanent weekly extension, so my proposal cuts down hours. The proposal will work with only 4 days, that is only 8 extra hours. I’m asking the department to spend less than $130 dollars to test run my plan for less than a week.
Some people in general may try to question other financial issues regarding the facility, but I can disprove those quite easily. From the very start, I anticipated opponents bringing up the obvious fact that running the facility longer would cost more in electrical and water. This is false. The building is LEED certified, and for those of you that are just jumping into my blog…LEED is a green organization that aims at constructing energy and water efficient buildings. Upon bringing up and questioning this point and issue with Mr. Hemmer, he easily admitted that yes, the building will really have no issue regarding energy of any sort- it’s taken care of.
Also, my proposal suggests a 2 hour extension. So, instead of closing at 10, it would close at 12 and this would mean electricity would be on longer. Mr. Hemmer also explained to me that this too would be little to no problem because the facility’s lights already stay on until about 12am.
Staffing is another issue. I have heard many ask, well people are not going to want to work that late. Maybe not, but of the 40 + applicants that Mr. Hemmer receives for the job every application period, it is more than possible to obtain at least 2 people willing to work 2 hours later for some extra cash. Mr. Hemmer mentioned that this “refusal to work” argument can also be applied to the early morning shifts. The gym opens at 6:30am. That is pretty early for many students on campus, yet you can be sure that every morning the gym has the minimum 2 staff members in it, and this has been going on for years. If there are available workers for early morning, surely some will be willing to work a little later at night. Early birds and night owls exist.
Another new argument I have stumbled upon is this: Exercising late is bad for you. The fitness center promotes wellness. If they promote wellness, they cannot support late night work outs.
But, here’s the thing. No matter what is “good” or “bad” for someone, people are going to inevitably do what makes them feel good. You cannot just close down a McDonald’s after 6 because it is bad for health to eat later at night, can you? It may be a weak example because McDonald’s is the adversary of any health conscious person…but you see my point, hopefully. People like what they like, and if something satiates a craving then most will find a way to satiate. Moreover, Mr. Hemmer and I discussed this argument and we both agreed that the statement is faulty. Really, this type of rebuttal depends on an individual’s sleeping patterns. Working out or working late may be bad for your health only if you are not getting enough sleep. If someone works the late night shift and does not have class until 12pm or 1pm or later, their health will not likely be negatively affected. Same for exercisers. People have the capacity to determine what works for them, regardless of what some study may show. I work out late occasionally, sometimes all I do is work out late— and I am healthy and happy. I fit it into my schedule and make sure that I am getting enough sleep. So yes, late night work (of any sort) can be bad, but it is not bad just because it is late night work…it is bad because of people’s faulty scheduling.
The benefits for those who may resist are these:
For staff: More money and promoting a healthy habit that they most likely partake in themselves and wish others to partake in; giving others the ability to further improve physical and mental health while they study on campus and become happier, healthier, and more confident as a consequence.
For management: The chance to explore and option never explored before, and possibly advance it successfully adding to the academic success and outstanding reputation that Longwood holds. Also like staff, this opportunity should provide a chance for management to help out their student community, and will give them something more to feel good about.
Proposing a full blown permanent extension would be ridiculous. Suggesting a 7-day extension would be expensive and risky. A 4-day trial run of the extension would be perfect because it could gauge success with minimal cost to everyone.