Six packs for everyone! ECC’s Fitness Center is now free

If you like working out and saving money, a new school policy has you covered.  Last month, Elgin Community College announced that all ECC students can now use the school’s Fitness Center for free. Located in Building J next to the gymnasium, the school has waived the $3 service charge that students had to previously pay. 

Strength and Wellness Club President Kate Moreno and Vice President Hannah Garcia pitched the idea to the administration. 

“Because we were able to communicate with the proper people, and because our faculty seemed to care about this issue as much as we do…once we started to communicate, it was a good process,” Garcia said. 

Students who want to use the Fitness Center will need to sign a liability release and assumption of risk waiver.

The form must include your signature, the date the student signed it, their printed name and their parent or guardian signature if the participant is under the age of 18.

Kent Payne, director of athletics & wellness, is pleased with the school’s decision. 

“As word spreads, students will realize they’ll have an hour between class, come down here and work out,” Payne said. 

Access to the Fitness Center is important for many dual-credit students who need to work out as apart of their dual-credit physical education requirement. While access to a free gym might help many dual-credit students, some believe the Fitness Center might become more crowded on a regular basis. 

“It has become a bit more packed making less machines and weights free at certain times in a day,” said Mathew Tavolacci, a dual-credit student at ECC.

Garcia recommends working out after noon if you prefer some solitude.

In Moreno’s experience, a majority of dual-credit students, who typically occupy the Fitness Center, don’t utilize the equipment efficiently. 

“I was dual-credit, but a lot of the [dual-credit] students [now] just go in there and walk on the treadmill,” Moreno said. “Waste their minutes. So, if anything, all the treadmills are taken, they would actually start working out.”

Still, Moreno is pleased that the school made the center free for all students outweighing any disadvantaged. 

“People who actually want to use the gym for free, they will actually use the gym and the equipment, and not so much the treadmills that are being occupied by dual-credit students,” Moreno said. “I don’t see why it would be an issue, if anything there’s just more people there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share. You just have to be respectful of others and their space.”

While Tavolacci knows how the changes may impact him, he understands how great this change is for the ECC community.

“No matter what way you interpret it, a free gym, as a whole, is an advantage for a labored college student,” Tavolacci said.