UCD Students have been informed that access to the Student Centre gym will be restricted from 6.15 until 8.15 on weekday evenings during term time. Concerns have been raised by students about these restrictions as they will be in place during popular post-lecture times for usage of the gym.
UCD students have paid a student centre levy as part of their registration fee since 2006, helping to fund the building of the new student centre, which includes an Olympic sized swimming pool along with the 150-piece gym. However despite current students paying the levy, which is currently €183, for the last several years, only private members will have access to the gym during peak times on weekday evenings.
A final year Science student spoke to the College Tribune about the opening hours stating, “I’m annoyed as I thought it was a student centre for students. To be stopped from entering the gym at certain times of the day because of outside members is a bit disappointing”
Rachel Breslin, President of UCD Students’ Union spoke to the College Tribune about the issue. When asked about the restrictions she replied, “I don’t agree with it. I don’t think that it’s the best way of doing this. I see the need for restricted numbers during that time because there is going to be such a rush. You do have to balance; you can’t have zero private members being able to get access at those times either. So I think there’s a need for better balance there”. Breslin also stated that she believed it was necessary to meet with the management to assess what is happening weekly, so that they could take into account the scenario. She further added, “I think that will be reviewed quite soon and if it’s not working the management certainly seem very willing to change it, but I intend to ensure that if this isn’t the arrangement that works that it is changed over the coming weeks”
The news about the opening hours comes at a time when students have raised concerns about the two weeks waiting time for members before they can use the gym. This is due to the induction that all members must undertake before using the facilities, despite some students claiming that they have used the gym all summer without such an induction. A number of recent graduates of the university who have contributed to the student centre levy have also claimed to be disappointed by the discount that they have been offered on gym membership, as it is still more expensive for them than other gyms in the surrounding area.
The gym management were unavailable for comment on the issue at the time of print.
– Thomas Cullen