As the Student Rec Center remains closed for the spring semester, one student decided to take action in order to challenge the decision.
Jakob Janoski, a junior journalism student, started a petition through Change.org, directing his concerns to President Gordon Gee, Andrew Darling, director of Campus Rec, and fellow associate directors of campus recreation.
“I figured that if I want something done, I should do it myself, and that meant starting a petition,” Janoski said. “We [students] need a place to have recreation, and with proper precautions in place it’s possible to make the gyms safe.”
Janoski said that he did not expect the petition to gain as much popularity as it has, surpassing 2,000 signatures.
“I thought that the petition would fizzle out after about 500 signatures, but I’ve been proven wrong,” Janoski said. “People really do want the Rec to open. The students are tired of paying for their own gym memberships. I think that could be why people are so passionate about it.”
According to Janoski, the lack of transparency between students and the University is frustrating to many.
“If they [the University] gave a reasonable answer as to why the Rec was still closed, I don’t think that we as a student body would have a problem with it remaining closed,” Janoski said. “I do believe that the students deserve to know exactly why it’s closed. Honesty is the best policy.”
Janoski said that he was personally affected by the gym being closed.
“I’ve stopped working out and kept eating the same amount of food, sometimes more out of boredom, causing me to gain weight,” Janoski said. “I’m sure this is the case for other students as well.”
Since the fall 2020 semester, the Rec Center has operated as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination location, and it will continue to be used for those critical purposes throughout the spring 2021 semester. Exercise programs and equipment rentals will still be available throughout the semester.