Megan C's English 400 Proposal

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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

 

6 Comments »

38

Comment by Stock Images UK

October 24, 2013 @ 10:29 am

thanks for this really nice post!

40

Comment by Kathleen Wilcox

October 24, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

Megan- your new plan is almost perfect. As a runner, your statement at the very end rings truth, and you have definitely made progress in creating a very feasible proposal that can go beyond the classroom. By proposing that we start looking at possible solutions to the problem at hand, fixing the problem becomes more real. I also like how you’ve listed the issues you’ve encountered during your research. Its evident that you are passionate about this issue and you want to see this go through all the way to the end. Great job!

41

Comment by Kathleen Whitney

October 24, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

I know I already commented before but before proposing a trial, really see what the need is. Sit in the gym and count the number of people who are using the gym around closing time. If on average it’s only a handful of students (which is the usually the case since I’m one of those last to leave gym rats), then is it really worth keeping the student workers (faculty are gone around 5pm and it is the student workers and supervisors running the show after that) up until 1am “just in case” someone wants to work out.

Plus, the limited work hours are for student wellness. I mentioned this in a previous blog of yours. LU wants to promote healthy habits from eating to fitness to sleep.

Fitness staff may be written up if caught doing homework on the clock. Therefore, these students actually are loosing out by working, even if it means more money.

Proposing a trial is a good idea but providing data from student surveys and statistical observations (counting the people in the gym late at night) are going to give you the evidence you need to support even doing a trial run.

Now if you want to propose later hours on Friday or earlier hours on Saturday and Sunday, you have my FULL support. Or even morning hours for the powerlifting room (because I like to start my day off throwing around heavy weights), I’m totally game!

48

Comment by Megan Clements

October 28, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

well, no matter what time it is, there has to be a certain amount of people working. So there is no way around that. It would not prove useful to have the gym open longer on weekends- the hours are already shorter during that time, probably because they don’t anticipate its use as much.

And yes, you are correct about the homework issue. In proposing the trial, it would of course seek the help from volunteered staff at first. So, my hope is that at least two people wouldn’t mind staying an extra hour or two. And I would think ideally that they would not volunteer if they already had too much on their plate- but I see what you mean. Things aren’t always ideal.

Hopefully talking to the director will help me determine what the real need is, like you suggest. I do need to find out when it gets dead in there, or if it does get dead in there. Maybe a lot of people are still going strong at 10 when it closes….not sure yet.

44

Comment by Michelle McMaster

October 26, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

Just to clarify, are you still proposing extended hours permanently, and the trial run as a step in the process, or will your proposal be the trial run?
I hope the directors get back to you soon, I’d love to know their opinion on the willingness of staff members in particular. Do you know how many student staff they have total now? I do wonder if they think they will have to hire an extra student or two, or if they think their current staff will step up. I know my staff would fight for an extra 12 hours a week 🙂
Looking forward to your proposal!

47

Comment by Megan Clements

October 28, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

I’m just proposing a trial run. Suggesting something more permanent if that works…but yes, the trial is my proposal. If it succeeds I’d say keep the trial times but have them carried out for more than a week.And I am not sure yet. I sent an email the other day.

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