College adds dorm weight rooms, new gym – Hillsdale Collegian

The college spent $100,000 on fitness equipment for four of its dorms this summer in addition to opening a new facility called the Founders Gym. 

The college spent $100,000 on fitness equipment for four of its dorms this summer in addition to opening a new facility called the Founders Gym. 
“We were doing F3: faith, friendship, and fel­lowship,” Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeffery Rogers said. “We just added one more F: fitness.”
During the pre­vious school year, some stu­dents noted the lack of facility space in the George Roche Sports Complex when sports teams were using it, Rogers said
“Our kids wanted to work out, but the gyms were jammed up,” Dean of Men Aaron Petersen said. “But now the bar­riers have been removed.”
Some other obstacles to fitness included time lim­i­ta­tions, lack of knowledge, and lack of con­fi­dence, Petersen said. This led the deans to con­sider adding gyms in the dorms. 
“We talked with our RAs about ways to encourage fitness that are fun but engaging,” he said. “If you go lifting, you get account­ability and intensity. It works on a lot of dif­ferent levels.”
The deans also formed a com­mittee of stu­dents to help with the project, including sophomore Matthew Karten, Gal­loway Residence’s fitness leader. Karten said Rogers men­tioned the oppor­tunity to him over the summer. 
He and other student leaders received training on oper­ating the fitness equipment and brain­stormed about how to market the new facilities.
“My job is to inspire a com­munity around fitness,” Karten said. 
“It has been very suc­cessful so far.”
Benzing, Olds, and McIntrye received gyms with squat racks. Dorms with higher ceilings like Gal­loway received a power rack, which includes a bench, rack, and a pull-up bar.
Karten said he has seen a lot of people use the dorm gym so far.
“I’ve had people pull me aside and ask for help,” he said.
Head res­ident assistant of Whitley Res­i­dence and senior Lewis DeGoffau said the new dorm weight rooms have been a valuable addition.
“The men of Whitley have enjoyed working out as a way to bond as men, as well as to break up study ses­sions with physical exertion,” DeGoffau said.
In addition to new dorm facil­ities, Founders Gym, located in the Stanton Foun­dation Center for American Clas­sical Edu­cation, for­merly Mauck Ele­mentary School, will be open to all stu­dents, staff, and faculty. 
The facility houses sets of weights and med­icine balls, and workout machines include Rogue Echo and Concept2 sta­tionary training bikes, along with rowing machines, according to Rogers.
“It’s super nice equipment,” Karten said. “It’s quality and going to last a long time.”
While the facility is cur­rently open weekdays from 6 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 6 p.m., Karten said there will be a formal grand opening on Sat­urday, Sept. 24. The event will feature food trucks catered by Metz Culinary Man­agement, a nutri­tionist, and instructors from the college’s physical wellness dynamics courses to help teach stu­dents how to use the equipment.
Karten said the fitness ini­tiative group is also planning ways to keep stu­dents returning to the gym.
“We will hand out punch cards,” Karten said. “If you come back to the gym 10 times, you get a cus­tomized blender bottle. We’ll also hand out magnets with the gym’s hours.”
The “Charger Fit” blender bottle will feature a George Wash­ington graphic.
The college will offer clubs and classes at the facility outside the gym’s normal hours, Karten said.
Classes include a one-credit wrestling course led by Rogers, which will take place on Thursdays starting on Sept. 29, and a jiu­jitsu course that begins on Oct. 1.
To coincide with these changes on campus, the deans have altered their Man Up! freshman event, Rogers said. This year, freshmen men will endure fitness chal­lenges on campus, including learning how to wrestle with Rogers at the Margot V. Biermann Ath­letic Center and an obstacle course at Hayden Park, fol­lowed by a pig roast.
McIntyre RA and member of the fitness ini­tiative group, sophomore Joanna Leckband, said she hopes that by adding equipment to dorms and setting up the Founders Gym, stu­dents and faculty are encouraged to keep their bodies and minds healthy.
“The fitness push on campus sup­ports every­thing we’re doing here,” Leckband said. “Taking care of our bodies allows us to use our minds for the tasks set before us.”


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