Williams Center workout changes


Kylie McCombe, right, and her aunt, Jenny McCombe, look into Kachel Gym during a tour of the Williams Center. UW-Whitewater admissions staff visited with incoming and prospective students and their families and guided small tour groups around campus on Thursday, July 16, 2020. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner)

Devin Ulrich, Assistant Sports Editor

For those trying to keep off the COVID-19 (lbs), train or relieve stress, the Williams Center is open again this fall, but with some new guidelines. 

The changes include wearing a mask while in the facility, as well as while working out. People can sign up for a time slot online prior to coming to workout. It is found on the Return to Rec website where visitors can see headcounts in facilities, reserve a timeslot and sign up for intramurals. 

Therese Kennedy, interim director of Recreation Sports & Facilities, cleared up some questions on the new changes in the gym. Some thought that there would be less time slots to workout or the gym would be closed earlier.

“We don’t want to give less time for students, when we have allowed less students at a time,” explained Kennedy. 

But another change does limit the gym capacity for those working out. Only 60 people are allowed to work out in the weight room during a specific time period.

“More people have been excited to have less people in there because their workout time is more functional. So less time, but less people equals a more efficient workout,” said Jen Kaina, assistant director for Fitness and Aquatics. “We still want to give students a place to go to release anxiety we all are feeling at the moment.” 

The biggest challenges with the new protocols for students working out has been the bag rule and keeping masks on. Students in the past usually could bring a bag or some belongings to store in cubbies to the left of the weight room entrance. That area is now off limits so students have to make adjustments prior to coming to the Williams Center.

Some students get tired of wearing a mask their entire workout and some try to lower them off their face. 

“Our staff takes it very seriously if people are trying not to wear a mask and I have confidence in my staff that they will acknowledge those trying to do that,” Lucas Hines, a student staff member said. 

In the end, it seems most people are adapting to the new normal at the Williams Center. With guidelines being followed and support from the staff, Warhawks are able to keep up their physical and mental health through exercise.