Expand Gregory Gym weight room

Faith DuFresne, Associate Editor

With a wave of people looking to achieve their goals this new year, Gregory Gym has been packed with students and members across the board. Despite the overall positive atmosphere of dedicated community members looking to better themselves, there is one prominent issue amongst this community of gym-goers: there is not enough space for everyone, especially when considering COVID-19 distancing protocols. 

UT must expand the Gregory Gym weight room to encompass more visitors and create more space for all members to enjoy their workouts safely and with plenty of personal space.

Gregory Gym is one of seven facilities that Recreational Sports (RecSports) offers to students both on and off campus. However, Gregory Gym houses only one of two weight rooms on campus, severely limiting the space available to students who want to utilize those specific facilities. The weight room does not afford students the space they need to maintain a safe distance between themselves during workouts.

Advertising freshman Andrea Paredes discussed her frustration with the current weight room set up and her hopes to see the room expanded.

“I’m on the powerlifting team, so I really need to use a weight room all the time. It’s been really hard (to work out in the limited space),” she said. “Having more weight room area would save me a lot of time and also would make me go to Greg more … If there was more room, I feel like it would just be a lot easier for everyone.”

Students deserve to know that their health and safety is a priority, no matter when or where they work out. Students should feel comfortable enough in the space designated for them to move freely without additional concern for their own safety as well as the safety of those around them.

Randall Ford, associate director of communications and development at Recreational Sports, explained the current situation regarding the spaces allocated to students at Gregory Gym.

“We do evaluate the spaces and take the feedback on a regular basis. We look at trends in Campus Rec to make sure that we can serve all the UT community, especially the students, better, but we do not have any current plans to physically expand the Gregory Gym weight room space,” Ford said. 

These continuous evaluations of RecSports facilities should evidence the need to expand the weight room, as the number of students who use them is beyond their current capacity. While other rooms are available to students, they are not equipped with the same machines and weight room equipment, nor do they offer the same function.

Ford mentioned that the Gregory Gym weight room is about 10,000 square feet, but the majority of the space is filled with machines and other equipment. There is a limited amount of room for students to work out and move around, without even considering the need for additional personal space.

It is important that UT supports students by accommodating their need for more space to function healthily and happily. Expanding Gregory Gym’s weight room would allow more students to take advantage of all that RecSports has to offer and enjoy their workout with the freedom to move about without impeding other’s space. 

DuFresne is a journalism freshman from Dallas, Texas.