I hopped off the bus last weekend at Colby and walked through their lavish athletic complex on our way to the visitors’ locker room. Along the way, I stopped and marveled at their spacious, pristine weight room and fitness area. I felt jealous. It struck me that I had felt much the same in previous trips to other NESCAC schools such as Middlebury and Amherst. Though I’ll admit the weight room has not always been my prime destination in life, I could not help wondering why our weight room is a complete joke in comparison to many of our league counterparts.
I have no statistics to back me up on this, of course, but I would be willing to bet that the weight room in Lasell is one of the most used facilities on campus. At a school such as Williams, where athletics are an integral part of many student’s lives, and furthermore, where a community that is very focused on staying healthy and fit exists, it seems like a higher emphasis should be placed on making sure that our facilities are updated and are doing an adequate job of meeting the needs of those who use them.
Our weight room is too small, and the equipment, including freeweights; dumbbells and Nautilus machines, is old and falling apart. Fletcher Brooks, the fitness center supervisor and strength and conditioning coach, has made many improvements in the relatively short time he has been here. Yet the principal problem remains that the weight room is simply to small to handle the amount of people who use it on a consistent basis.
On weekday afternoons the place is a zoo. If teams are working with Brooks, it can be impossible for them or anyone else to get anything done. The weight room cannot be utilized to its maximum potential merely because there is not enough space for everybody to work out. It has become clear that there is student interest in this issue, and in speaking with those who are involved in advocating large-scale improvements, it seems as though the administration recognizes the need for more space.
In the meantime, one easy way to make the situation better would be to allocate more money for new equipment. I do not think I am being naÃ¯ve in saying that the money is there somewhere. Just last week I saw that College Council allocated over 500 dollars for the purchase of torches and knives for the Juggling Club.
Also, an examination of the ways in which the existing weight room is used might be necessary. Many students have expressed frustration with the fact that the weight room is closed for cleaning in the morning for two hours twice a week and one hour three times a week. These are prime morning hours where those who hope to avoid the afternoon rush can work out.
My hope in writing this column was not to sit here and complain. Instead, I wanted to make the point that this is an issue which affects a large portion of the student body, and one that has been ignored since…ahhh, well, judging by the dates on some of the equipment, around 1974.
I read every week about Williams College alumni and their incredible success in the business world. Hey Mr. Case, you just bought Time Warner, how ’bout throwing a weight room our way?