Photo Courtesy of APU Athletics

Are the current hours enough for non-student-athletes? 

Almost every college or university in the United States has some form of on-campus gym or fitness center. Though it certainly isn’t advertised well, Azusa Pacific has a fitness center available for non-student-athletes. But are the hours allotted for regular students enough to promote a healthy lifestyle? 

Tucked away behind the new Duke Student Commons on west campus sits the APU Fitness Center. The Fitness Center holds a number of benches, squat racks, free weights and cardio machines to give students a variety of exercise options. The equipment is enough to give both regular gym-goers and casual students an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to better themselves. 

However, the current hours for general use make this somewhat challenging for some students. The gym is currently open for general use on Monday and Wednesday from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-11a.m and 5:30 p.m-9:30 p.m., and again on Fridays from 8 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.. and 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.. The gym is closed on weekends. 

Jeff Holley, a nursing student at APU says, “I think the weight room should be open on weekends, it would help someone like me who’s not in a sport get more hours and have more chances to work out there.” 

Holley, like many students, has a membership at an off-campus gym. “I would consider canceling my LA Fitness membership if the campus gym had better hours,” he said. The convenience of weekend access at off-campus gyms keeps busy students like Jeff active when the same opportunity is not available on campus. 

College weight rooms across the country are typically open all day and include weekend hours to give busy students an opportunity to exercise on their own time. Even Biola University, considered one of APU’s biggest rivals athletically and in terms of admissions, has gym access on the weekends for students. While it may not be a major factor for most prospective students, regular access to an on-campus fitness center could influence some students’ decisions. 

Kristin Olinger, a junior at APU, says, “The hours are not long enough, especially for the amount we are paying. Most universities have weight rooms that are open 7 a.m.-midnight, if not 24 hours.” This frustration is especially felt by students after access to on-campus amenities was limited in recent years due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Specific hours are reserved for athletic teams on campus to lift as a team, prohibiting regular student use of the facility at these times. While it makes sense that student-athletes have specific access to the facility, students are concerned with the time left over for general use. 

“Only giving non-athletes a few hours of the day to use the weight room is not at all a standard at other colleges,” Olinger said. She also noted that opening the Fitness Center on weekends would help with this. 

There are also a number of benefits for college students who have access to fitness facilities. College gyms allow students to exercise, meet new people and build a sense of community with their peers. A study from Purdue University even found that students who work out on campus at least once a week are more likely to have a higher grade point average than those who don’t. 

The APU Fitness Center has improved its accessibility from a year ago when it was closed for general use during the Fall 2021 Semester. It was eventually opened during the spring semester for hours similar to the current schedule. 

Investing in more hours for the Fitness Center is investing in student health, wellness and overall happiness during their time at APU.