By Nina Saluga | Staff Writer
There is no feeling more liberating than leaving a particularly stressful class or study session, blasting your favorite pump-up songs through your earbuds and heading straight to the skywalk across Forbes. Your blood is pumping as you hit the floor two button in the elevator, ready to hop on the treadmill, defeat the elliptical and master the solitary stair-stepper in the Power Center gym.
The elevator doors open as you stride in, swipe your ID and are on your way to a therapeutic workout session. Whether you plan to kill it at spin or walk off that slice of free pizza from your organization’s meeting last night, it’s exactly what you need to recoup from a long day of classes.
Walking in, your hopes of a rigorous and/or relaxing workout are dashed. It’s no surprise really, it’s a pretty typical weekday at the Power Center.
There are no machines. None, nada. 80,000 square feet dedicated to “recreation and fitness,” but still not a single piece of vacant equipment in sight.
If you’re one of those people trying to squeeze in a quick bit of cardio, blow off some steam or just get leg day over with as quickly as possible, at the Duquesne Power Center, you can forget about it.
The state-of-the-art facility that houses glossy workout equipment and was once a refuge for students trying to shake off the tension of classes or adopt a healthier lifestyle has become an overcrowded sweatbox of sorts. The Power Center has transformed into a place where clammy bodies file in, stake out a machine — if they’re lucky — and proceed with their workout packed into the confines of the recreation facility like oily sardines.
Overcrowding has become a problem at the Power Center that is inescapable at best — not much unlike the table wars that plague finals week at Gumberg Library — and students like myself are fed up. I think I speak for all of us when I say the Disgruntled Gym-Goers of Duquesne University are on their last straw.
No one wants to schedule the gym into their day when the Power Center is merely steps from every dorm and classroom on campus. It’s silly for students to go out of their way to get there, or to block off time in the day to go when they could just as easily slip in before or after class, or on a study break from homework. The overcrowding issue makes the ease of getting to the Power Center a trying effort at best.
Although the facility offers state-of-the-art equipment, group fitness classes and an extensive catalog of intramural activities, there’s simply just not enough to go around.
“I go to the gym a few days a week and often when we go, almost all of the equipment is being used on the second floor, which is a major inconvenience,” said senior Emily Reilly. “And then on 3M, there are only a few mats, which are hard to get, and the very small track gets overcrowded as well at times. If I ever have to go to the gym at a busier time, it makes me want to go less because it becomes a hassle.”
Other students have had similar complaints that the restrictions of the Power Center are more of an inconvenience than anything else, and that the recreational element of the Power Center has served to be anything but.
“The Power Center is a place where I like to release my built-up energy, and when I have to fight for a treadmill or wait for the only adequate stair-stepper, I just get annoyed and want to leave,” said junior Olivia Kappler. “My workout routine has been more off than ever this semester because I never want to deal with the crowdedness of the gym.”
The Recreation Department, according to the university website, “is committed to ensuring your Power Center experience is challenging, fun and inspiring,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Challenge is almost a definite guarantee at the heart of the Recreation Department, the Power Center. Whether that means pushing yourself a little bit harder at the gym or just being able to get there without the struggle of finding a machine, a challenge will present itself indeed.