Balancing Demand and Safety: The Dilemma of Weight Room Hours at Delaware Valley University
By Logan Boushell / Full360 Contributor
The hours at the Delaware Valley University weight room have slowly dwindled since it reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic.
DelVal Students and athletes are not happy about it.
These shortened hours mean more pressure for planning an already packed day, and senior captain of the Men’s Soccer Team, Bennett Nordhoff, feels that stress.
“As an avid lifter, it is really frustrating when you have a late practice and go to get a lift in, and the doors are locked,” Bennett said.
University officials, however, say it was a needed change because of staffing and safety concerns. Andrew Moyer, Assistant Dean of Students, said that the hours reflect “monitoring student use and demand, ability to staff space to be open, and safety of those in the space.”
Still students – not just athletes – wish hours could be more flexible.
For student-athletes like Bennett, maintaining a rigorous fitness regimen is essential to their performance on the field. The weight room provides them with the equipment and space necessary to build strength, endurance, and agility. However, the reduced hours of operation have made it increasingly difficult for them to incorporate workouts into their already busy schedules.
While this may be a big issue for student-athletes at Delval, it is also a big concern for regular enrolled students. Gwen Tamaccio, a Resident Assistant and avid lifter, has been upset with the current weight room schedule for some time now.
“It honestly is just so frustrating; I have a lot of responsibilities not only as a student but also as a Resident Assistant,” Tamaccio said. “So, trying to find flexibility in that schedule to work out is hard enough as is, and then you add on the limited hours, and it makes it that much more stressful to go about my day.”
The University officials have been talking about this concern for some time now as well. They are doing their best to come up with solutions and to meet the needs of students and student-athletes. A solution that was brought to their attention was making the gym twenty-four hours. However, according to Andrew Moyer, this really is not a feasible solution.
When asked what is keeping the weight room from being 24 hours Moyer said,
“That would require staffing the space 24 hours a day, which is not feasible. Also, while I understand the desire for 24-hour access, at a certain point we need to prioritize student’s getting sleep. While I realize folks may want to work out at 2 a.m., I do not see how that supports overall health and wellness.” Once again hitting home on the idea that it is a safety and staffing issue.
However, the question of safety might be questioned itself. Nordhoff had a rebuttal to Moyer’s stance on the twenty-four-hour gym idea.
“I just don’t get the whole argument of safety,” Nordhoff said. “The people who go later at night are the ones who are at the least risk of getting injured. Plus, we either have our own insurance or pay for insurance through the school, so there should be no issue there.”
Despite all the negative opinions on the weight room, Andrew Moyer and the rest of the school officials are open to a compromise. “We look at the hours and access each semester. So, yes there is room for compromise if students like yourself can articulate the need and demand for longer hours or different hours of use.”