Working Out

At the SA’s meeting tonight, the Committee on Student Life will present recommendations to improve students’ access to athletic facilities. In summary (full version here), the report calls for the college to:

1. Increase the hours of Kresge Fitness Center and the gym facilities associated with it.

2. Open Tuck’s new Whittemore gym to undergraduates.

3. Improve access to Kresge by the side doors situated nearby that are usually (and inexplicably) locked.

4. Reduce court and membership fees for student use of Dartmouth’s Boss Tennis Center.

Despite a few choice lines of silliness (e.g., “Tennis has historically been seen as a sport for the wealthy. By charging students for use of the courts, Dartmouth contributes to this stereotype.”), the Committee’s recommendations are on the mark. Dartmouth’s facilities are generally adequate for the use of non-varsity students, but the College manages them in such a way as to complicate that use. The athletic department seems to regard non-varsity use as a chore and promotes it reluctantly, if the money and resources put into it are any indication.

Efforts to improve student access to the Kresge Fitness Center are feasible and would certainly be cost effective considering the number of students served. The opening of Whittemore, however, is unlikely; Tuck students would surely protest, and no one could begrudge them that. If the College actually buys any of its Student Life Initiative rhetoric of three years ago (beyond bulldozing Webster Ave.), the decision to implement the Committee’s proposals (excepting Whittemore) should be near automatic.

The ball’s in the College’s court now; let’s see how it returns. (sorry)