The fitness center and gym are utilized by Mills students, faculty, staff and EF students on a regular basis, many of whom frequent campus year round and are dedicated to physical activity regimens. But each winter break these facilities completely shut down for over a month, and regular hours cease for over a month and a half. While it may be done as a cost-saving measure, campus sports facilities should remain open for those who do not leave the Bay Area during break.
After fall finals, most students do indeed leave the Mills campus behind and go back to their respective hometowns. But many still remain in the area, and more stay on campus in the Prospect Hill apartments, Underwood apartments and Courtyard Townhouses. EF students still live in White Hall, and aside from a two-week break, staff members still come to work. So closing the fitness center becomes a problem for members of the community who are trying to stay active during the winter months, whether they want to jumpstart their mornings, stay active during their lunch break or let off steam at the end of the day.
Since Mills is devoid of any other campus activities over this period, the fitness center and gym courts, if open, could serve as one of the few meeting places for the community to interact.
What’s more, it is generally the winter months in Oakland that are cold, windy and rainy, making outdoor facilities such as the track and Pine Top trail less accessible and increasing the need for an indoor excercise space.
And where do those who want to start their year with a new fitness plan go during this popular time of self improvement? Basing the facilities schedule solely off of a simple majority of students means that other people lose out.
Opening the fitness center for just a few interim hours each day, or even a few days a week, would result in staffing and other costs, but such expenses would not be exhorbitant, and just might be worth it to provide an important service to our community.