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The University of North Georgia Rec Center: Too Busy For A Student’s Own Good?

Photo by Natalie Pippin

By: Natalie Pippin

Hear from University of North Georgia students who use the recreation center on campus and those who do not.

UNG’s Recreation Center, open since October 2008, provides students an on-campus option for health and wellness. Student fees for the last two years have stayed $83 per semester, which poses the question of why would some students choose to use off-campus gyms?

Kaylee Brown, a sophomore business major, uses One Life Fitness in Dawsonville. She pays nearly $40 a month which gets her access to, “…a pool, there is group fitness, I have a free training opportunity to sit down with a trainer if I wanted to…there’s a sauna.” She continued saying, “I like the community there better. I feel like I get more done there. A lot more machines. Nicer equipment.”

The aspect of a more positive community or better equipment seemed to be common themes with other students who pay for off-campus gym memberships.

Lauden Ernst , senior history major, uses Dahlonega Fitness Center. He pays a reduced student price and shared it is rarely busy, “A lot of the cadets like to go to DFC and even some of the MLC staff like to go there…it offers easy access versus trying to go to the gym [on campus recreation center] especially during a busy day when you’re just trying to squeeze in a workout, and you can get to equipment easier.”

Neither of these interviewees had anything negative to say of the recreation center facilities, but they mentioned there were times that they could not finish a set or would completely take an exercise of their normal routine because the gym had gotten too crowded. Brown and Ernst are not alone in their frustrations.

Collin Chamberlin, a junior marketing major, also uses One Life Fitness. His answer was an emphatic “yes!” when asked if overcrowding ever interfered with his mindset to workout. “It’s a small gym for the amount of people that go. There’s not like a lack of equipment, but there’s a lack of equipment for the demand.” At the UNG gym, he found it hard to use all the equipment that he wanted and would have to cut his workouts short.

While these students pay more in monthly fees to use off-campus gyms, they feel as though it is more beneficial to their health and wellness journeys, and they agree that the UNG recreation center is too busy for a student’s own good. Both DFC and One Life provide more amenities, perks, and workout equipment than the on-campus facilities.

Photo by Kaylee Brown

The recreation center is convenient for students who are looking for a quick, easy option that is already paid for. While it is true that the gym is smaller in space for people who use its services, it does offer group fitness classes, gym staff on every floor who are trained in CPR and first aid, and University staff memberships. They are open on weekdays from 5:45 a.m. until 10 p.m. and the weekend hours are flexible.

Brianna Wacome, a senior biology/premed major and recreation center staff member, believes that there are good opportunities for both on-campus and off-campus fitness, “I believe we are more attentive and friendly, while other gyms might have more money with newer equipment.” She feels encouraged to work out as a staff member because she gets to see people use the equipment and can become more confident in using the machines.

Photo by Cameron Speicher

Cameron Speicher, a sophomore general studies major, who also uses the on-campus facilities. His personal experience is, “I use it all the time. I go to the gym five, six, seven days a week. I do the classes there, shoot hoops, play intramurals. I love it. You know it’s like $80 a semester with the student fees and I use it for like $2,000 worth probably.” He agrees that it can be hard to use the Rec Center when it is overcrowded, but he has found time to get in good workouts by going early in the morning or late at night.

While the UNG recreation center may not provide all the amenities and perks that an off-campus facility offers, the price point and the convenience aspect does work for students to start somewhere on their health and wellness journey.

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The University of North Georgia Rec Center: Too Busy For A Student’s Own Good?