SRC adapts to COVID-19 guidelines this semester


Zach Berger | The Daily Eastern News

Diamond Thomas, a senior majoring in Health Administration, worked out on an elliptical at the Student Recreation Center. Thomas said it was her first time back at the SRC this semester.

Heather Vosburgh, Staff Reporter

The Student Recreation Center is one of the many resources on campus that has adjusted their guidelines for student health and safety.

Paul Noble, the Operations and Programs Coordinator, said one of the main new procedures, wearing a mask is always required for students in the SRC.

“We want masking at all times, so anytime you’re in the facility you must have the appropriate face mask on, covering your mouth and nose. We encourage people to also wear masks whilst doing cardio machines, so treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, power mills, stairsteps and rowers. If it is too much for them, that’s the only exception we will make,” Noble said. “They can take it off at that point, but we do encourage people to keep them on whilst doing that.”

The SRC has also encouraged social distancing by removing equipment from the weight room, spacing the remaining equipment out, and taping the floor around the equipment to show students where they should be while using the equipment.

New cleaning procedures have been implemented in the SRC as well.

“We’ve increased cleaning stations around the building, so there’s more binning (trash) stations. We’re closing an hour and a half early every night, doing increased sanitation procedures,” Noble said. “We have increased staff on the floor, so that between each use, the machines can be adequately sanitized and cleaned.”

SRC Director Sarah Daugherty said, there is no checking out of any equipment besides a mat from the SRC office and there are no reserving spaces.

“We are not reserving space at all,” Daugherty said. “So, dance studio, aerobics room, basketball courts, anything. We do not do any reservations at all.”

There are still many resources available to students in the SRC, such as group fitness classes, E-Sports (PC only), special event intermural sports and the pool, but in order to use those spaces, a spot must be reserved.

“You have to reserve space in a group fitness class, which we have never done before, but that way it allows us to know who’s here. Same thing for E-Sports. They have to reserve space in the arena in order to play and we had to space that out, obviously, quite a bit. And then in the pool, we are starting lane reservations. Because of the number of people that we have had, they have to make a reservation to use a lane,” Daugherty said. “It also allows us to track who’s here, so, worst case scenario, we can do contact tracing as well.”

If a student is interested in reserving a spot for a class or the arena for E-Sports, they can find the link on the campus recreation website.

Pool reservations are done through the SRC office and they can be reached at 581-2820.

SRC Assistant Director Kevin Linker explained how people can sign up.

“Once they’re on IMleagues, they use their PAWS credentials. Just like they’re logging into PAWS, they log into IMleagues that way with those credentials. You get there and there’s a spot for the intermural sports, there’s a spot for groupex, and then the E-Sports arena. And once you click on groupex, it shows you the weeks’ worth of classes and which classes are available. If you click on those, it shows you how many spots are left, and you can sign up for a class that way,” Linker said. “Students can sign up a week in advance, but they might not be available before a week in advance, even though the whole semester is already on there.”

The occupancy limitation in the SRC is 350 people at one time, and only 20 of those people are allowed in the weight room at once.

The staff is keeping track of how many people come into the SRC, but, as of recently, their daily use does not typically exceed 350.

“We haven’t had to turn anyone away,” Daugherty said.

Basic gym rules still apply in the SRC, so students must follow the current apparel policy.

“All the things you would expect to happen in a gym, we still have all of those things in place as well to make sure that we’re still maintaining everyone’s safety, not just from COVID, but from everything that’s potentially harmful,” Daugherty said.

These policies are in place keep everyone in the SRC as safe as possible and protect the student body.

“We understand that they can be frustrating, and we understand that they’re weird and alienating, but it’s there to protect you and it’s there so that we can stay open. We want to stay open and that’s the reason we’ve put all of these things in place,” Noble said. “We’re doing it for no other reason, but for your benefit.”


Heather Vosburgh can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]