Megan C's English 400 Proposal

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Blog #8: Resistance Training- Anticipating a Push from Opposing Arguments

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 9:21 pm on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two groups will surely have their issues with my proposal to extend the Longwood Fitness Center’s hours:

 

1. Staff

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.

Fair enough.

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.

 

Blog #7: The Path to Fitness- Finding a Solution for a Trial Run Extension

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 9:07 pm on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Longwood University strives for it’s students to maintain a balance between mental and physical well-being and health. The Health and Wellness Center is designed to do just that! Many aspects of the center are great, even the fitness floor, which has a wonderful array of cardio and weight equipment. However, the fitness center could be improved in at least one way according to some: give us more hours!

Students have voiced their desire for longer hours in the fitness portion of the center, but no formal suggestion has ever been made about it. Some students deal with rigorous schedules here at Longwood and squeezing in exercise early in the morning or right between day-time classes just doesn’t work. Many of them, like myself, want to get it all done before moving on to our own needs. So, we end up putting exercise and any other personal activities on hold until we are done with school work. This usually leaves us free somewhere between 10pm and later. For those that like to frequent the gym later at night, the problem usually stems from lack of day-time availability. The reasons why some go to the gym late at night are fairly simple: health benefits and stress relief. People want to work off all those late night snack and D-Hall food, or they just need an outlet after staring at a textbook or writing a 10-page paper. It feels good to burn some calories and loosen up the muscles, and night-owls deserve the same opportunity that early birds have as well.

As a daily gym user, I understand first-hand the importance of getting a good workout in at least once a day. Without it, I feel sluggish and my anxiety disorder tends to make me antsy at times. Sometimes I go to the gym during the day, but sometimes I only have time at night. I can usually squeeze in my 35 minutes of high intensity cardio but on some days, like when I race back from my German tutoring job around 9pm to make it to the gym by at least 9:30 (gym closes at 10pm), I’m cutting it close. I hate worrying on some days that I’m not going to get my workout in- it’s one of the only things I have on campus that I consider quality time to myself. So, when I have to stress about fitting this in and racing against the clock, this bothers me. And, I imagine I am not the only one.

So, what’s the solution to the issue? We must demand longer hours! Not quite. 

Extending the gym’s hours is not something that can happen in a snap; it would take some strategical planning and honestly, a full-blown extension will never work without a trial-run first. We can’t expect the director’s over at the center to be 100% on board when there’s no real proof to back up the success of such an extension. A trial run is the most reasonable starting point. My proposed trial run would stand for only one week, from Monday-Thursday. The new hours would be from 6:30am-12am, instead of until 10pm.

I thought this was going to be a lot more difficult to launch into action, but after talking to one of the director’s over at the fitness center, Gus Hemmer, I was gladly surprised to hear that the trial run would not be such a big deal. There are at least 3 main issues in regards to the extension, and here I will propose 3 “solutions” to them. I quote the word because the problems really are not as complex as I assumed they would be.

In order to have longer hours the 3 things necessary are:

1) Money

2)Security

3)Staff

—Of course, you need people to use the gym as well but the whole point of the trial is to assess people’s usage of the center—

Solutions:

1) Money would not be such a massive issue. According to Mr. Hemmer, and based on my research of the facility already…the center is already energy efficient which cuts down on cost, and cost for power, etc. is already financially covered. Also, Mr. Hemmer said that the lights in the center already stay on until midnight, so having the fitness center open until 12 would not affect electrical costs. (Cost of employees is something I will include in the Staff section, #3)

2) Security would be helpful, although not required. Mr. Hemmer thought it would be a good idea to employ a Longwood police officer to check and watch over the building for the 2 hour extension. This would be of no additional cost to the school or students.

3) Additional staff would be necessary. However, the amount would only be 2 to keep the place running, plus a manager. The additional pay increase would only amount to $13o- that includes both people for one week of late-night work. Mr. Hemmer also admitted that the possibility for employees to resist later hours is possible but that the problem of finding willing workers is really not an issue. He mentioned that issues of scheduling usually arise from student-workers personal schedules, so those who go to class later usually don’t have a problem. Also, he says that he receives about 40 applications per submission period and that there is more than enough people and possibilities for working this shift.

Resistance becomes the biggest issue, as you can see, with relation to staffing which will be addressed in the next blog, but even the director thinks this problem is minimal.

There’s really not much to lose here except maybe 130 extra dollars that will go to hard working college students. If a trial run is feasible and possible, what’s the harm?

 

 

Megan Clements

Blog #6: Let’s Get to the Point- Getting Pumped for the Fitness Proposal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 11:35 pm on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I’ve been going through the idea in my head and I think its safe to say that every time I write a blog I amend the plan. I have finally pin-pointed the issues and also what exactly I would like to propose for steps towards extended hours in the main campus fitness center. The whole process is sort of like doing warm-ups before the big game- cheesy maybe but true.

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First, here’s the “problem”- but I like to say issue because extending hours in the gym is not exactly controversial stuff in my opinion. It has been drawn to my attention that a group of students on campus would like to see the gym have longer hours into the night. Most of the reasons brought up were either:

1). Stress- Around exam times or late-night cram sessions students are wound up and need a break or want to burn off all those snacking calories accrued during study sessions.

2). Anxiety/Restlessness- students are night owls and/or have a lot on their minds and find it hard to sleep at night.

3). Other Health Concerns: either all of the above are true or they are just gym-centric and enjoy going multiple times a day

4). Schedule Issues: Students may find it hard to squeeze a workout in during the day time because they are rushing around for class, and early afternoon comprises of homework. They are left with the end of the night as their open slot and by that time it is too late for the gym.

So, the issue is that some students want the gym to have these longer hours in order to promote mental and physical well-being but find that they cannot always do this because of certain time conflicts. The gym hours should be extended in order to promote what the center already claims to strive for: improvement of mental and physical wellness.

 

health means wealth- creative commons

Easier said than done, yes. So, the basic proposal will only be to facilitate a trial run of such an extension. That means, a one week trial run will be given on the days of the week that have the longest hours (which is most likely a result of the popularity of those days over others). Those days are Monday-Thursday (school nights!). If you think about it, it should really become evident that the correlation between the longest gym hours and the days of the week seem to suggest that it is already obvious to many that the gym needs greater accessibility during school days. There is some importance between school and the gym hours. The gym is not open as long or late during Friday-Sunday. Why? Probably because people are not generally spending so much time stressing- they are taking their break from academia. Maybe they are drinking. Maybe they went home. Whatever the case, they are taking a break- they are getting the therapy they need from a week of stress. During the week, it would be possible to drink, slack off or visit friends, but generally most good students do not do this and must resort to healthier and less time and energy consuming options; the gym is one of these options.

 

People are going to be affected by the extension, of course. The gym faculty will have to work a little longer, but that’s more money! The student users (maybe some professors) will be affected. They will have greater access to the gym! And, in some small way anyone around those gym-using students at least has potential to be affected. Just think, who likes to be around grumpy people? We already live in an environment laden with stress! Having greater access to the gym could relieve some of this and make living situations more agreeable. Also, even if you have no relation or connection to a gym-user…it is proven that exercise relieves stress-yes!- but also improves academic success. With that in mind, consider how much better the school could do if more people could exercise when they want? It may be a stretch to suggest, but it is possible that increased exercise would improve academics on campus and therefore boost the school’s academic reputation- and that looks great for all of us.

 

graduation- creative commons

So, I have just presented the stakeholders and the benefits of each. But now for the downfalls or considerations that must seriously be deliberated in the extension:

1). Feasibility- How much will this really cost?

2). Liability- Who will be responsible during the late shift for safety? Is this idea safe even?

3). Possibility- Who will be willing to work later?

 

I hope to uncover these 3 very important issues through talking to the directors of the facility very soon.

 

I want to propose a two to three hour extension in the main campus fitness center. It currently closes at 10pm. I am aiming to propose a trial run that would keep the gym open for students and professors as late as 1am. The trial would start on a Monday and end on a Thursday: the times the gym is open latest, which i feels bears some significance. If the results from the proposed trial extension are positive then it could be worth while to look into a full-blown extension for the long term. But, any good thing must be taken in stride- you don’t start a marathon in a full blown run. You shouldn’t do anything without a warm-up first. How could anyone forget that?

 

 

Megan Clements

 

Blog # 5: An Overview and Position in Defense of Fitness Center Hour Extenstion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 7:37 pm on Wednesday, October 9, 2013

 What’s the Deal and What’s the Problem?

Health and wellness are not all-together new ideas in American culture. Being fit and happy is a goal that many strive to achieve for different reasons. Longwood University is a college community that recognizes the benefits to a healthy mind and body and because of this they have established a health and wellness center of their own back in 2007. The center houses a plentiful variety of cardio and weight equipment along with a track, basket ball court, rock climbing wall, fitness classrooms and even a clinic and counseling center. The fitness center is the main focus of this discussion. Some students have voiced the opinion that the center should extend its hours later so that students may use the facility at their leisure. Having hours extended will help rid students of unwanted stress, which they experience daily due to the rigorous college lifestyle. An extension will require the cooperation of the fitness center staff…

Some view this extension as a good thing, while others see it as something time-consuming or a waste of money. While some students and staff view the proposed extension as a good opportunity to create jobs on campus and a contribution to student well-being and fitness, others find the extension impractical due to the necessity of late-night/early-morning workers and the question of funding. Both sides have valid points. Those for the extension will benefit either from having the chance to work more and obtain more money, by being a student who relies on the fitness center for health and wellness reasons or by being a fellow student who by default will reap the benefits of having happy and healthy peers. The downfalls to this extension could mean later shift hours and a slightly higher cost in maintaining the facility, along with liability issues. In examining the feasibility and possibility of an extended hour gym, a solution may be met.

A small step in the right direction may simply mean a test run of hour extensions in which the center would run the 3-4 hour extension during the school week only. If that fails to procure late night/early morning visitors and usage seems stagnant, then perhaps the fitness center is already meeting student needs. We cannot ignore the voices out there though that suggest and support the idea of fitness center hour extension.

Should the Gym Extend Its Weekly Hours?

Yes. However, there will undeniably be real costs in extending the fitness center’s hours. However, these costs will not seem so bad when compared to the grander scheme of things. The fitness center is supported and certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, which means the facility is efficient in both water and electricity among other aspects . If we keep in mind that the extension would only require less than half of the facility to function for the 3-4 hours extension (the lower half of the facility which houses the cardio/weight floor) the cost would not rise too much. As far as student jobs are concerned, the extension would only require two student workers on the extended shifts. So, again not much money will be lost.

As a student that uses the fitness center on a daily basis, I understand the importance of this extension. What the extension means for many students is that they will have greater access to an area which will allow them to exercise, which in turn means they will be healthier physically but also mentally. Last week I suffered from terrible food poisoning, so bad that I broke my daily gym routine (GASP! indeed). For many, the big deal may not be apparent and it wasn’t exactly for me either until I went to the gym for the first time in over a week this Tuesday. Before that, last week and over the weekend, I felt awful- not just sick but sluggish, unmotivated and more stressed than usual. I suffer from a diagnosed anxiety disorder so this build up in my mind and body. I could not believe how much better, refreshed and rejuvenated I felt after only 30 minutes high intensity on that elliptical! The day flew by! I felt amazing; a big smile on my face all afternoon. The difference in feeling made it so much easier to face my classes. What I’m getting at is that the benefits of exercise are real, not only physically but psychologically.

 Many students, especially late-night gym-goers, seek out the center as an outlet to de-stress; it helps them focus and gets rid of tension. If I am not mistaken, the goal of the center according to its founding President Dr. Cormier was to shape mind, body and spirit, so extending hours will help this goal. If hours can be extended, if only by a few hours, it will make all the difference in the academic lives of stressed students. Sometimes all you need is an hour to step away from the Bio-Chemistry midterm or that Psychology research paper in order to compose your sanity and continue.

Exercise contributes positively to the decrease of stress. One place we all know is a breeding-ground for stress is the college campus. Whether you are a teacher, staff member or student you have witnessed the negative effects of this stressful environment. Campuses function differently than other work environments because the workers (the students) function non-stop. The gym needs to consider longer hours because stress does not just stop after the last class of the day. It continues long into the night.

Plain and simple: Exercise is a good way to reduce stress, and college students are stressed. If that’s the case, then the fitness center should elongate its hours.

Megan Clements

Blog # 4:Two Sides To Every Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 10:59 pm on Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The problem: Plain and simple…there exists a demand for extended hours in Longwood University’s gym and this demands sprouts predominately from good students who either live healthy life styles, need to blow off some late night stress-steam- or a combination of both. One of the school’s aims, and the fitness center’s as well, is to create health students both in body and mind. Having a gym with longer hours would help achieve this goal.

The main issue with this idea rests within the fitness center’s administration and staff. The target audience for using the gym exists! Between athletes that wake up early for practice, health conscious students and the rest that use the gym to homework-detox it is evident that if some compromise could be made in hour extension, the gym would receive good use. Resistance meets its toughest match, therefore, with the staff and managers.

I anticipate from talking to gym staff members that the two sides are something akin to what follows:

1. Having the gym open a little later would be good. I could make some more money.

2. Having the gym open late at all is a terrible idea- who would want to work that late? Pointless.

Now We’re Open Later- Creative Commons

 

Some staff members would not mind working the later shifts because they simply need money and also, they are night owls. Some people just love the night life—we live on a college campus (people like this are bound to exist)! I would personally not mind working no later than 1pm if my work load was not too overbearing- but I’d rather be the one working out on the equipment. So, thankfully there are those out there that would not mind. Not to mention, staff during the 2 hour afternoon extension would only require a mandatory two people according to center staff members, and their job would be limited to main floor cardio/weights area- not the whole place. Less work. More money. Some people can put the two together and see the benefits.

The other reaction to this extension is reasonable as well. Why in the world would anyone want to stay up so late? Right. College students already have a lot on their plates. Some of us don’t get to bed until 2am (maybe later?). Some of us just don’t like working at night. Some of us might not like working at night knowing that the flow of costumers may be slow- pacing may be the problem. All of these are valid reasons to refuse to work extension shifts (again: extension would be from 5am-1am- a grand total of 4 hours). Here’s the answer: these staff members do not have to work those shifts. Only 2 staff members plus a supervisor are mandatory so that only requires 2 willing members to volunteer their time out of a handful of student workers. Someone is bound to be open to the idea.

This is all a game of speculation. Since the center has never tried a 24/7 or extended hour approach to health and wellness at Longwood (and since I have yet to interview a manager) it is difficult to say exactly what would work at this time, but I have listened to staff members and these two sides exist. Perhaps a test run or pre-poll of who could work these hours would be a good idea before jumping into a full-blown extension. Maybe only extend hours during a few weekdays at first, or even give incentive to those willing to work the extension. There are many possibilities, but it seems necessary that some trial run must be conducted.

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In the article I found, More hours, more convenience: 24-hour gyms look at luring customers with extended hours,  these two basic issues are explored. The article mentions several gyms across the country that are starting to explore this late-night trend, among those being a gym called Energy Fitness Midtown. It serves as the trial location for another Energy Fitness location that only maintains “normal business hours” (Shull). The 24 hour center runs “as an experiment” (Shull) according to their manager, and if successful they will turn the main center into a 24 hour gym as well. Many gym owners don’t even play with the idea of extending hours, claiming that they have not heard of a high demand for longer hours- some claiming that “…[the] area is so small…” in some locations that with longer hours they “…wouldn’t see anybody in…[there]” (Shull). However, some feel that small areas are great promoters for this sort of idea: they tend to create a sense of community and also promote fitness amongst those that may be too shy to work out in bigger day time crowds (Shull).

Having extended hours could be another way to bring our Longwood community together while giving students an available outlet for health and mental wellness even at the latest hours and also encouraging those that might otherwise be hesitant to give the facility a shot. Both sides of the argument for gym hour extensions make perfect sense- it seems the real question that could sway the opinion is, is it manageable and will it get used? If yes, then we just might have a shot.

 

Works  Cited:

Shull, Adam. “More hours, more convenience; 24-hour gyms look at luring customers with extended hours”. The Paducah Sun. July

26 2009. Web. October 2 2013.

 

Megan Clements

 

 

Blog #3: Fitness Pays Off…But, Who Pays The Price?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 9:41 pm on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maybe the idea of extending Longwood’s Fitness Center hours seems like a nice idea in theory, but who would it affect because that’s an extremely important question. Sure! Fitness is great and having a gym on campus that is open til’ late would be something worth bragging about to others, but it is one thing to explore an idea and another to actually put it in motion. Any plan within reason can be possible…however, it requires people to make it happen. Who would have to be sold on the idea of hour extensions in the fitness center in order for it to be even a twinkle in our eyes: 1) The gym’s users- if there is nobody using it, what would be the point in having extra hours? 2) Gym Faculty- managers, staff and facility/maintenance workers need to be in-the-know or else the gym ceases to function and 3) Security personnel- like police officers, because someone has to make sure a late-night facility runs without putting the university at risk of liability for people’s foolishness.

Users (predominately students- some professors/ university staff) matter in this situation for the obvious reason that they are the consumer. They are the ones that pay (swipe) to get into the gym and are also the target group that the fitness center aims to better in wellness and health. In 2008, 1 year after it’s grand opening  on August 24, 2007 it was recorded that about 560 students used the gym daily (Caldwell). Now, without having access to more recent data it is hard to claim what the numbers are years later in 2013 but with the fact that the school experiences a constant increase in population, it is easy to see that the numbers might have bumped up since then, and with more variety there will surely be more people with crazy schedules that cannot always go at reasonable hours. Students need as much of a chance as they can get to blow off steam.

Faculty and security are the two other key players here, because without them the idea of a gym with extended hours will remain just that: an idea. Faculty and security are what will keep the center running smoothly and safely. Faculty will have two main concerns:

1) Cost

2) Liability

As far as cost is concerned, it may not be as expensive as some might argue. First, there is the fact that the facility has been certified as GOLD by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) (Health and Fitness Center). This means that the building is equipped with tools necessary to deem it sustainable. The center is, among other aspects, water and energy efficient (Health and Fitness Center) and this reduces both excess water and electricity use.

 

Visit LEED and see what they’re about: http://www.usgbc.org/leed

 

If the gym were to be open longer, the idea would be to simplify it’s operation. So, all of it’s parts would not be open to student use after normal running hours (i.e. fitness classes/rooms and the basketball court or upstairs track. The gym would be limited to the main floor where the weights and cardio equipment areThe late-night shift would be minimized to cardio, strength and free weights- the basics for fitness. If the gym is already efficient in water and electrical use, the addition of 3-4 hours would not effect cost in such an extreme way.

As far as liability is concerned, Longwood can go 1 of 2 ways. They could employ a small late-night staff, the required 2 person minimum, of students willing to work for a little extra money and could improve security and have the center function on a more independent level as do many gyms of a similar concept. This would require less student workers (so they would not have to give away more money). Of course, something will have to stand in for the security that will be missing from the gym if employees are not present or scarce. An automated security system would have to be established. That means: at least one security guard both in and outside the building at all times, additional cameras and the use of a security key process to enter the building. This would would great because Longwood already uses such systems with all of the buildings already: you swipe your card and you enter. The fitness center even has it (on the inside), so it would only be a matter of installing one security swipe on the outside of the building.

 

Security Card Swipe System- Creative Commons

In my hometown, we have a gym called Anytime Fitness and they are starting to appear all over the place. The concept is quite similar to what I have just explained. In an article, Pat van den Beemt describes the flexibility of Anytime Fitness: “The gym is staffed 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Fridays; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat. The rest of the time, members use their electronic keys to enter the building. Security cameras are in the parking lot and in the gym” (den Beemt). One member of a Jacksonville branch claims it to be a “proven success” (den Beemt). Although Anytime Fitness is a 24/7 gym, it is a good model to observe when considering how the school could go about a similar addition.

So, let’s not deceive ourselves here. Somewhere, somehow, somebody is going to have to pitch in for the center to have longer hours, but it seems that Longwood has already taken strides that could allow the possibility of an extension to become a feasible reality.

Anytime Fitness Interior- Creative Commons

 

Works Cited:

Caldwell, Gina. “Creating a Fit U.” longwood.edu. Spring 2008. Web. 25 September 2013.

den Beemt, Pat van. “Anytime Fitness, a 24/7 gym, opens in Jacksonville.” North County News. 13 September 2012. Web. 25 Septemb-          er 2012.

Health and Fitness Center. Longwood University. n.d. Web. 25 September 2013.

 

Megan Clements.

 

Blog #2: Issue History- Sweating the Stress Away

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Whether or not Longwood University needs a 24/7 gym is highly debatable, but students on campus voice their opinions daily and it seems important to at least pay attention to those voices which express the desire for longer hours in the Health and Fitness center. Longwood’s Fitness center was first created back in 2007 and is open for 95 hours out of the week. That’s a pretty good amount considering the 168 hours that a week consists of; it’s more than half the hours in the week, to be exact! But, still I hear students continually suggest the hours be extended. When I started thinking about what I wanted to write about for my proposal, it took me some time to make the decision…but what really got me interested was when I did my own sort of test to see if the audience existed for such a proposal. I went onto Facebook and went to Lancer Opinions, asked them to post a discussion question: What would you think of having a gym that’s 24/7? The responses grew quickly for about an hour, until the question most likely faded from everyone’s news feed. People came forth with excited reactions considering such an idea. I was surprised that people really existed out there that would want to go to the gym at 1 am or 4 am. It seems insane, and of course dancing with the idea of a 24/7 gym is not the main focus here but what people had to say offered some knowledge as to why students could use, at least, extended hours in the center. They also offered some pretty neat solutions to various problems that would arise because of an extension….

Lancer Opinions Page: https://www.facebook.com/lanceropinions?fref=ts

It seems that students either: 1) Find themselves stressed frequently or, 2) Have crazy schedules that don’t allow for normal-time-of-the-day access to the gym. Students find themselves working into the late hours of the night, especially around exam times and after a long 3 hour session of cramming and violent snacking…some want to work it off: the food and the stress levels. Some students say that they get restless at odd hours of the night and look to the gym to blow off steam and energy. Unfortunately, the gym is not open late enough for them to work off whatever’s bothering them. Other students have demanding schedules with demanding work loads, so by the time that they are finished with both school and homework…it’s already too late to work out!

Stressed Student- Creative Commons

In an interview regarding the opening of the center the  former Longwood President, Patricia Cormier, said: “We believe that this new center will shape the mind, body, and spirit – the whole person, if you will, and that has always been a goal of higher education” (Caldwell). The intentions for this fitness center it seems have always been to better the students in mind and body. The center has so much to offer in its 7500 square foot facility (Caldwell)…cardio and strength equipment, a track, various classes, several basketball courts and a weight room to get specific.

With that being said, if the goal is to improve the quality of student health here at Longwood, let’s all do what we can to achieve that goal! Although the center provides a decent chunk of hours to the student body (and faculty) to use the center, people still want more. They want more because we are in the type of environment that requires more: more time, more energy, more work, more more more! If we have a community that requires more, we should consider giving them more. If the goal of higher education is anything like Cormier envisioned, then we need to do all we can to preserve it.

Article Citation:

Caldwell, Gina. “Creating a Fit U: Longwood Debuts New Health and Fitness Center”. Spring 2008. Web.

 

Megan Clements.

 

Blog #1- Defining the Issue: Longwood’s Need for Extended Fitness Center Hours

Filed under: Uncategorized — Megan Clements at 10:16 pm on Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Although we may see Longwood’s fitness center as convenient and every-day establishment, it was not always so. The center is quite new with it’s construction occurring only two years prior to 2008. Before that, Longwood’s idea of fitness was rather scattered, there was never before one cohesive and all-inclusive building in which the students could easily frequent that had all the amenities that the current fitness center provides- and the list is extensive. There is so much to do at the fitness center that hours are quite extensive as well, running from: 6:30 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday,  6:30 am-8 pm Friday, 9 am- 8 pm Saturday and 1 pm- 10 pm Sunday. Longwood students appreciate the gym. The center is a bustling place from the early hours of the day until it closes and the students have the staff to thank for it, but still there is something many Longwood students believe would make this already wonderful establishment even better: extended hours.

But! Longwood already has long hours, some may say. Why should it stay open even longer? Who’s going to want to work a later shift? Is it going to cost a substantially higher amount to maintain these hours? And, what sort of extension are we talking here? Perhaps 2-3 hours to start, which could in turn reveal an even greater need for something like a 24/7 fitness center- but that’s extremely speculative….These, and more, are all very valid points and something to be deeply considered when discussing alterations to a business structure. After all, the fitness center is not just a place where students can go to get fit, de-stress, and build a healthy image…it is also a place that students go to work and make money, and a place where other non-student faculty work to make a living as well. However, despite these road blocks, the idea and possibility for Longwood’s gym to extend it’s hours is not impossible and could benefit different student’s in various ways. College is a place where tensions run high and as students we are constantly faced with deadlines, deadlines, and more deadlines! These deadlines tend to keep us up until ridiculous hours of the night and, sometimes, day. A good reducer of stress is….? You guessed it! Exercise. Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it may also improve cognition and the ability to retain and learn information…Relaxed, happier and smarter students means decreased stress levels, higher levels of academic achievement and perhaps even a more amiable and docile roommate for any non-fitness center goers.

In an article from the “Educational Psychology Review”, Phillip D. Tomporowski, Catherine L. Davis, Patricia H. Miller and Jack A. Naglieri collaborate to explore and describe how exercise may increase a child’s cognition, intelligence and academic achievement. The study, of course, focuses on children but it derives these new and speculative studies from earlier studies regarding the same topic
in adults. These earlier studies show that there is a profound link between exercise and superior or improved cognition through tests of “executive function” (113). These tests required groups of adults to undergo aerobic or non-aerobic exercise and then they were assessed based on a few variables of cognition imperative to memory and processing, updating and rejecting information (113). The studies showed that exercise did indeed improve these abilities. Observers now believe that, like adults, exercise plays a key role in childhood cognition as well, stating that physical activity produces elements in the brain that “…regulate the survival, growth and differentiation of neurons during development” (113). They are still working out the kinks as far as childhood cognition and development go, but studies do show that for adults exercise is essential to cognition. As students in a rigorous academic setting, we depend on this, and we always require the agents of exercise that allow us to mentally relax from all the stress that accrue in our daily lives.

A fitness center with longer hours has its downs: a little more money, a little more time and a little more effort. However, the outcome of a fitness center even more dedicated to health and well-being will make the university a happier and healthier place.

Article Citation:

Phillip D. Tomporowski, Catherine L. Davis, Patricia H. Miller and Jack A. Naglieri

Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 20, No. 2  (2008), pp. 111-131.\
Megan C.