Students are trying to extend gym hours on the weekend to 2 a.m. as part of a class project.
This semester’s Social Policy Analysis class contains four groups of students that are going through the process of amending current policies or creating new ones at ENC. Dr. Stacey Barker has given each group the opportunity to practice the policy advocacy skills they have learned throughout the course to pursue change.
“I do think that students, collectively, have the power to make change on campus because students are an important campus constituent; without students, there would be no college,” Barker said. “So it’s very important that students wanting to promote change understand the processes through which change can happen.”
One of the four groups has been working on extending the current gym hours to 2 a.m. on the weekends.
“I think the student body would greatly benefit from more time in the gym and that it would help end the weekend shutdown,” junior Emily Ansel, who is in the group working on extending the hours, said. “If students had more places to go and more activities to participate in during the weekend specifically at night, then they would be more apt to stay on campus.”
One of the set backs in the policy process is that students are not properly taking care of the gym and weight room during the regular time schedule.
Ansel and junior Savannah Sivert brought the idea to General SGA on Thursday, Nov. 14. Ansel and Sivert have met with Athletic Director Dr. Nancy Detwiler, Vice President of Student Development Jeff Kirksey, and SGA President Ryan Piesco.
During the General SGA meeting, Ansel said that Detwiler is not overly supportive of the idea because students aren’t taking care of the gym during the current hours, part of the reason for the new Sunday open gym hours.
The group has struggled with getting responses back from different on-campus departments pertaining to their policy.
“There is potential [for] our group [to] make change, but not right now because there are poor communication skills throughout the ENC community,” junior Sarah Bardon said.
The group ended up heading directly to the departments instead of waiting to make formal meetings.
“So far our group has learned that we need to be very proactive in this process and really keep on people to get the information and resources we need,” Ansel said. “Once we did this, they were at least willing to talk to us about our project and answer our questions.”
Last week, the group brought the policy to General SGA to get more ideas. Now they are in the process of talking with the Office of Safety and Security, Student Development Office, and Athletic Department about the extended gym hours.
“We are working on negotiating and solving current problems to try and make this goal a reality,” Ansel said.
This group, as well as the other three groups in Social Policy Analysis, will have the opportunity to present their research and proposals to Provost Dr. Timothy Wooster to receive feedback at the end of the semester.