Lowering the cost of fitness memberships being considered

 Abby Epstein News Writer

The Campus Recreation and Fitness Department is looking into lowering the cost for the fitness center membership in hopes of encouraging student health.

“Our goal is to provide fitness opportunities to our students with the least amount of barriers,” said Coordinator of Recreation and Fitness Andrew Marullo. “Lowering membership cost or including membership in tuition/fees are two ways to remove these barriers.”

The fitness center used to be an independent facility on campus. In July of 2019, Campus Recreation and the Fitness Center joined together to become Campus Recreation and Fitness. They said they want to increase the fitness services to the entire student population.

“Currently most of our services are targeted toward the student members of our facility,” said Marullo. “Eventually we hope to add more variety and an increased number of group exercise classes, personal training, fitness trails and other educational programs throughout campus.”

The fitness center is available for students who purchase a membership for $45. This membership must be renewed every semester, resulting in paying a total of $90 to be a member of the fitness center for the school year.

“Cost is definitely a barrier for a good portion of our student population. For some students the $45 per semester membership fee is better spent on other basic living needs,” said Marullo.

Eva Altieri, a student worker at the fitness center, said the biggest complaint about the fitness center deals with the cost.

“A lot of people complain it is an inconvenience about how they have to pay both semesters separately,” said Altieri. “They wish it was one fee all together or that is would just be included [in tuition].”

Marullo and the students who work at the fitness center agreed that if the cost is lowered or added into the tuition more students would obtain memberships.

“Lowering the membership cost would definitely increase membership and make us more competitive with some of the local gyms like The Edge or Planet Fitness,” said Marullo.

Altieri said within her major, the students have been talking for the past year about the number of memberships.

“Other staff members who are in recreation and fitness we’ve been working with our classes trying to take polls of students to try and figure out why students are not getting memberships,” said Altieri.

Their polls showed that some students cannot feasibly pay an extra $45 for a membership, but if it was included into tuition then they would be able to use their financial aid.

The Recreation and Fitness Department members said they wants to work towards a healthy lifestyle that is as accessible to students as possible.

“Fitness shouldn’t be something that is extra. This is a facility that is here should be accessible to all SCSU students and it is something that you can do, and it has so many benefits,” said biotechnology major Isabelle Lucarelli, a freshman.

To Marullo, there are positives that will result from lowering the cost.

“The benefits include increased membership and participation which gives more students the opportunity to work toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Marullo. “Students exercising together on campus also allows people to feel more connected to the university.”

Photo Credit: Jacob Waring

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