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Earlier Jesse Owens South hours appease students

While many students choose to spend their Saturdays sleeping in or having a late brunch and relaxing, early risers now have a new option for Saturday morning activities.

Based on the feedback that Don Stenta, director for the Department of Recreational Sports, received from students, Jesse Owens South will now open at 10 a.m. Saturdays during Spring Quarter.

Previously open at noon on Saturdays, Jesse Owens South has an average of 46 students walk into its facility each hour, according to Rec Sports data. All students have the ability to provide feedback for the facility by making comments, and Stenta said this change was a direct response to student requests.

“I asked students for feedback about the Department of Recreational Sports’ operation and the first piece of feedback I received was about extending hours at Jesse Owens South,” Stenta said. “So we looked at the possibility of scheduling student employees for Saturday mornings beginning at 10 a.m.”

With no barriers keeping the staff from moving forward, the Spring Quarter trial began.

“I am excited to be able to provide the facility more hours on Saturday,” said Erin Hummeldorf, a fourth-year in women’s and gender studies and a Jesse Owens South employee. “I think it is really great how we took student feedback and actually did something with it.”

March 31 marked the first Saturday of Spring Quarter.

“Just by seeing how many people are here right now, I think it is a shame we didn’t open earlier in the past, because there are a ton of people who were missing out,” said Jessica Barnum, a fourth-year in aviation and another Jesse Owens South employee.

Within the first hour of opening, the gym had 65 students walk through its doors. Twenty-eight of those students were already working up a sweat by about 10:20 a.m. and four students were waiting at the door before they opened.

The first to walk into the facility was Corinne Rubright, a second-year in communication, followed by Kelsey Warner, a first-year in human development and family sciences.

“For a Saturday morning, I was surprised there were so many dedicated people,” Rubright said. “As a college student I would think that to be rare, but literally 10 people walked in while I was still checking in, which was really cool. Here they take so much into consideration what the students want and the extended hours is just an extension of that.”

Emily Howard, program manager for the Department of Recreational Sports, is part of the committee that evaluates the exact costs of a time change such as this.

“Although it cannot easily be quantified, there are other items associated with extended hours which will financially impact our area over time: environmental services scheduling, additional wear and tear on equipment, utilities, etc.,” Howard said. “This quarter will be a trial period and the ultimate decision will be made based upon student feedback and participation rates.”

Warner said she thinks this will help promote a more active campus.

“Most of the time, we as students think we can’t make changes, but most of the time we actually can,” Warner said. “I think it will be good for everyone and make for a more active campus.”

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