Fitness center locker shortage a growing problem

Despite thefts resulting from current locker shortages in the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center, the center’s advisory board has no current plan for addressing the issue.

In past semesters, students have submitted locker requests that were not granted due to a long waiting list. Staff members of the fitness center have also been affected by the locker shortage, and student employees without lockers must keep their belongings in fitness center offices.

Steve Erickson, Director of Recreational Sports, explained that the locker shortage is the biggest complaint the fitness center receives, followed by the lack of air conditioning and requests for a better climbing wall. Jeff Hix, the program manager, intramural director and assistant director of Recreational Sports and Fitness, explained that students without lockers often leave their belongings unprotected on benches in the locker rooms, which has resulted in theft.

According to Erickson, the main problem surrounding the locker shortage is deciding how to expand the fitness center to accommodate the volume of unfulfilled locker requests. He added that estimates of the cost of adding new locker rooms or projections for how many lockers would be required to accommodate the growing student population have not been made.

The best chance for a student to get a locker, according to Erickson, is to get one over the summer and renew it for the fall semester. Students are given the opportunity to renew their lockers each semester; otherwise, lockers for fall and spring semesters typically fill up quickly on the first day requests are accepted. He explained that the additional lockers in common areas outside of the locker rooms that are available for daily rental do not solve the locker shortage.

The Recreational Sports and Fitness Advisory Board has recently acknowledged the locker shortage but does not currently have a plan to fix the problem. Erickson explained that the fitness center staff is only responsible for the center’s programming. The advisory board oversees the maintenance of the center, and nothing regarding renovation or expansion can be done without its approval.