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RPAC experiences decline of use, activity

Cody Cousino / Photo editor

Whether it be an increase in class workload, more social activities, or joining student groups, people are using the RPAC less than they did at the start of the quarter.

Abby Stucke, a fourth-year in pharmaceutical science and RPAC employee, said she has noticed a slight difference in attendance.

“It’s just that the first week everyone wants to come and check it out and they’re all excited about working out,” Stucke said.

Stucke works the front entrance where students swipe their BuckIDs in order to enter the RPAC facilities.

A student’s swipe is only counted once per day. The attendance total also includes other non-student members and those accessing the facility for fitness classes.

For the first five weeks of the quarter, which officially started Sept. 21, the RPAC has seen the following attendance numbers, according to facility data:

• 9/18 – 9/24/11 – 33,122

• 9/25 – 10/1/11 – 35,661

• 10/2 – 10/8/11 – 32,301

• 10/9 – 10/15/11 – 30,022

• 10/16 – 10/22/11 – 28,953

What might seem like a decrease in numbers could be attributed to a change in exercise location, said Rob Jech, RPAC membership services and access director.

For all recreational sports facilities, including Jesse Owens North, Jesse Owens South, Jesse Owens West and the Adventure Recreation Center, numbers increased from about 49,000 to 53,000 from week one to week two of the quarter, but has since decreased each week.

“Everybody is here from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. those first two weeks, then they may find out something that fits a little better in their schedule if it’s in terms of getting in a group fitness class or running on the track,” Jech said.

The first five class days of the quarter the RPAC offers free fitness classes.

“Our attendance isn’t as high as it is in the first week,” Jech said. “I think that’s mainly because there’s no fee for the first week (of group fitness classes), then there’s a fee after that.”

The RPAC opens the facility 15 minutes earlier than it was initially scheduled to open in order to accommodate members who have to be at work by 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., Jech said.

The RPAC opens daily at 5:45 a.m.

“I think the biggest thing in the first week is you have a lot of students who try out things they have never probably done before,” Jech said. “We have a lot of people who try racquetball.”

The RPAC has also noticed a decline in purchases, Jech said. He said this might be due to increased online purchasing including memberships and eventually intramural registration.

Some students agree that increased work in classes throughout the quarter doesn’t affect their desire to hit the gym.

Kelly Nestor, a second-year in business, said she goes to the RPAC about five days a week, the same amount she intended to when the quarter started.

“I’m on campus so I just stop right by before I go home,” Nestor said. “You can squeeze in an hour, at least, a day for working out.”

Corinne Jones, a first-year in anthropology, said she uses the RPAC more than she planned.

“Just the fact that (the RPAC) has (fitness) classes all day long, there’s never a day where I can’t make something because there’s just so many options,” Jones said.

She originally planned to attend Zumba, a dance fitness class, once a week when classes started, but has since taken advantage of the many other group fitness classes offered with the purchase of a quarterly fitness class for $50, including indoor rowing.

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