Campus Fitness Centers Need Earlier Hours


Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography

Gyms other than the Davis Center, like the one pictured here in Farley Hall, should have earlier opening hours.

Leah Cardinale, Staff Writer

On Villanova’s campus there is only one gym that opens early in the day: Davis Center Gym. More accessible gyms in McGuinn, Farley and Stanford Hall, which are more closely located to student housing, open at 11:00 a.m.

For students who want to make the most of their days, this late opening is an inconvenience, as it discourages exercise and re- duces productivity.

So, why is the Davis Center Gym the only gym that opens at 7:00 a.m.? The Villanovan talked to Sr. Associate Director of Athletics, Lisa Harris, who explained the reasoning behind this phenomenon.

“We’ve surveyed students several times over the years in order to try and meet their needs with our operating hours,” Harris said. “Since the Davis Center can accommodate the volume of fitness center users we see from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and we have a hard time finding student employees available in the morning, we just open the Davis Center from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

“Most students prefer to work out in the Davis Center, and it isn’t too far of a walk from any dormitory on campus, so hopefully our hours are not a deterrent to student wellness,” Harris said.

Thus, it seems that Villanova’s main problem is the inability to staff gyms earlier, not students’ lack of interest in working out early.

“I would like to go to the gym in Stanford before my classes,” freshman Reena Saraiya said.

Freshman Julianna Petrelli loves to work out but says having the gym open earlier would make life easier.

“Having the Stanford gym and the other gyms open earlier would make them more accessible to students who have busy schedules,” Petrelli said. “People with [classes at] 8:30 [a.m.] who want to work out before class are left with limited options, as the walk to Davis could be inconvenient for them.

“I know in my experience, I have to be up early for classes and work, so I personally like working out before class, as it helps me feel balanced and relaxed for the day,” Petrelli added. “I find that it’s easier to bear the weather and go for runs early in the morning rather than trying to fit in the gym.”

While the Davis Center is not that far from South Campus or the Commons, for students living on West Campus, it could be up to a 20-minute walk. On a winter morning, when it is below freezing, this walk is not appealing.

The possibility of opening the other gyms on campus earlier, however, is not a far-fetched idea. According to Harris, there are many different options that can be explored.

“Once the volume of fitness center use increases and we have more student employees available to work, we [will] open the satellite fitness centers in Stanford, Farley and McGuinn,” Harris said.

Maybe a next step would be to survey students on what time the gyms should open, or whether satellite fitness centers should be open for use at 7:00 a.m., as well.

Hopefully, more gyms around campus will open earlier so that students can have that motivation to get moving, while still accomplishing what they need to with their busy schedules.