Gym closure leaves athletics abandoned

By Editorial Board

Since its inception three years ago, organizers of the Columbia Renegades have experienced their fair share of difficulties in getting exposure for Columbia’s atheltics program.

And recently, the plug was pulled on fulfilling this need, as a press release from Human Resources announced that the fitness center and gym at Roosevelt University, which Columbia students, faculty and alumni had access to, would be closing.

This announcement comes as an incredible disappointment to many students who became active users of Roosevelt’s facility—particularly members of the Renegades.

Because of the gym capacity, teams regularly used the facility as a practice space, a need that hadn’t been fulfilled on Columbia’s campus.

For now, it looks as if the Renegades are out of luck, as the only remaining facility all students can use is the fitness center located in the Residence Center, 731 S. Plymouth Court.

But with only a handful of treadmills, elliptical machines and weight equipment, the facility can hardly suffice a sports team, much less a student body of nearly 12,000.

Perhaps the most infuriating part of the Roosevelt gym’s closure is that, for many students who used the facility, little-to-no notice was given about closure plans.

If Columbia is requiring tour guides to advertise its budding sports program as an attraction to prospective students, situations like these should not be happening.

Even though future plans may include a more accommodating fitness center, it would take years for construction to be completed, leaving students to wonder what accommodations will be made in the meantime.

Even if the college had no control over the closing of the gym, more steps should have been taken to inform the student body of the closure.

Perhaps this would have given students more time to consider other fitness club options in the surrounding South Loop area.

While it’s a shame that a fitness club has to be an out-of-pocket fee for those who took advantage of the Roosevelt gym, at least there would have been ample time for students to plan and save money.

Lack of communication within a college our size is unacceptable.  The Renegades and Columbia students already have enough obstacles to overcome, and going without adequate facilities shouldn’t be one of them.