Many students say that the open gym here at the school is a good place to meet people, have fun and hang out with friends, or even meet new ones. That was the main point students made when interviewed about what they liked the most about the open gym as opposed to the wellness center: they liked the socialization that the gym gave. Many of those interviewed had seen or even exercised in the wellness center but liked the fact that they were moving around and doing something in the gym. All the machines in the wellness center are stationary, meaning that no one can move around much when exercising, at least not to another spot. The gym allows moving exercise, as one respondent mentioned. To do something besides just staying in one spot when exercising can make a person feel like they are accomplishing something. And as one interviewee pointed out, the gym has a weight room similar to the wellness center’s downstairs if more stationary exercise is desired.
According to Dean Ritchey, the open gym was not reestablished until this semester when some students requested it be brought back to life after years of volleyball and basketball practices took up most of the scheduling time for the gym. Students interviewed at the open gym said that they want it to stay, and some commented that they use it often. They say that it is a great place to hang out with friends, especially after they are done with all their work as the open gym hours of 8:00-11:00 p.m. on Sundays and 9:30-11:30 p.m. on Thursdays allow the students to get homework done before coming to the gym. Dean Ritchey said that the open gym’s schedule allows for all the practices to get done in the gym before the open gym opens.
Any sport can be played at open gym, although Thursday is designated as volleyball night and Sunday as basketball night. The gym’s location is behind the cafeteria. Some teams, like the volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams, use the open gym for informal practice, according to some students asked who went there. Anyone else can use it just for fun too, they said. There are volleyballs and basketballs and maybe a few other balls like footballs that everyone plays with no matter which open night it is in the gym. The BMC students are looking forward to the open gym staying for a long time.