The Whitis Area Community, a group of dormitories located on the northwest side of campus, are a considerable distance from the nearest on-campus gym. Kinsolving and Duren Residence Halls mention the existence of exercise rooms in their buildings, but they’re nothing close to supporting hundreds of students’ workout routines. UT should construct or convert an existing building on campus into a gym, both to alleviate the overcrowding of existing gyms and to more fairly cater to students living on the other side of campus.
Avery Little, an international relations and global studies and studio art sophomore, lived in Duren last year and had to walk almost a mile every time she wanted to go to Gregory Gym. Bellmont Hall, a small gym located in the stadium, and the Recreational Sports Center are the only other real gyms on campus. They’re even further away.
Other modes of transportation, such as the bus or her bike, proved to be difficult and more trouble than they were worth. “The bus was really inconvenient. Sometimes it would show up late. I couldn’t depend on that,” Little said. Furthermore, biking is not an option for everyone and is not always an ideal mode of transportation after an already strenuous workout.
On-campus residents living on the Northeast side of campus have to devote approximately 15 to 20 minutes to reach the closest accessible gym — which doesn’t even incorporate the impact weather can have on the commute.
“There were definitely times — especially in the winter — when I would need to work out and I could just not get myself to do a 20-minute walk when I’m freezing cold and have to carry a jacket around with me,” Little said. “It’s not the same as the kids in Jester who can just run across in their shorts or whatever — I would have to full-on gear up for this expedition that I’m going on.”
When it came to working out on her own or using the exercise room in Duren, Little was left underwhelmed and disadvantaged. Because of a knee injury, Little can’t go on runs, and when she tries to use the gym at Duren, all three of the workout machines are usually taken. If UT were to construct a new gym, it wouldn’t have to be on the same scale as Gregory but would have to accommodate more than three people and be a realistically sized gym for the amount of people living in the area.
When living in or near North Campus, a student can find themselves deprived of a convenient place to work out. By simply converting a pre-existing building on the north side of campus into a gym or by constructing a new one, UT can fairly provide all of their on-campus residents a gym close by — a move that would also help to even out the population of students who exercise at the other gyms on campus.
An easily accessible gym shouldn’t be a luxury but an advantage all students living on campus should have the opportunity to enjoy.
Caldwell is a Latin American studies and journalism sophomore from College Station.