The Gustavian Weekly

Lund Center Open to Students: Lund Center open to students, but with new rules. - The Gustavian Weekly

By Jack Wiessenberger - Staff Writer | October 2, 2020 | Sports & Fitness

Much has changed on the Gustavus campus since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The way students live and interact with their environment has been altered significantly. One area of campus that has seen dramatic change is the Lund Center. Due to the inherent risks that come from individuals exercising in close proximity, changes needed to be made. The plans to keep students safe in Lund have been in the works for months.
“The Athletic department COVID-19 action team started meeting in June, so these updates have been in the works since this summer. The hardest part about making these plans has been that we are learning more about COVID-19 every week and procedures and best practices need to be updated on a consistent basis to stay current with the new information,” Assistant Athletic Director Kari Eckheart said.
The guidelines set in Lund are fluid, so they can quickly be adapted to any new information released by organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). These changes are noticeable even before entering the building.
“I felt a little confused by the changes [at first]. The entrance was set up just like in the winter time, with one side of doors designated as the entrance and the other as the exit. The changes were surprising at first, but they were expected. I would have been concerned if there weren’t any changes made,” Junior Christopher Ortiz said.
The alterations made are taking some students by surprise, but the reasons behind the changes are generally understood. The Athletic department has been working to make all changes effective in protecting the health of students and the Gustavus community as a whole.
“One of the biggest changes for Lund Center is that students need to sign up to work out in specific areas due to the limited capacity in spaces and to maintain social distancing guidelines. Students also need to work out in a mask unless they are swimming laps in the pool or on the cardio equipment.” Eckheart said.
There are also protools that must happen to get into the building itself.
“When entering Lund Center, students are also asked to take their temperature with the thermal scan and then check in with the information desk,” Eckheart said.
These guidelines were put in place with the goal of maximizing safety while keeping Lund as accessible as possible to students. However, accessibility has become a topic of discussion for some students.
“Overall, I do not think that it has been difficult to have access to Lund. It has been open for the times that I have needed it, whether that be for pod workouts, using the treadmill on my own time, or going to the athletic training room. The one problem I have had with Lund facilities is the weight room. The certain time slots available do not correlate well with my schedule, so finding time to lift on my own has been difficult. Other than that, I believe Lund has been available for whatever I need it for,” Junior Hockey player Gabby Slykas said.
The hours for Lund facilities have been changed since last year. The weight room is now only open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Those looking to lift can sign up for a one-hour time slot either by visiting the information desk in Lund or by calling ahead. The same reservation system can be used for cardio machines and the pool, which are available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m and 2 p.m.-6 p.m. respectively.
“The reservation system has its positives and negatives. It’s nice because it secures a spot for you in the pool, but I definitely miss just dropping in to get a quick swim in if my schedule was crazy. Things are definitely a lot more strict around the pool, especially now that team practices have started. I see a lot less of my team now‒we can only have two people to a lane, one at each side. Additionally, our masks must be worn up until we get into the water and put back on right after we’re done. Everything is set up to allow social distancing,” Junior Swimmer Lillie Ortloff said.
Sports that can practice outside are being encouraged to do so, but sports such as swimming and hockey require their indoor spaces to train. The COVID-19 guidelines have made these spaces less accessible to these teams.
“Access to the ice rink has been limited due to the new rules. Just like the weight room, if we want to use the ice on our own time, we must call the front desk and sign up. The women’s hockey team has had odd times for practices because we must make sure to stay separated in our pods. We also have to share ice time with the men’s team. All of this has made it difficult to find decent ice time,” Slykas said.
The Athletic department has made student health a priority by putting these guidelines in place. However, the changes to Lund Center will continue to take some getting used to. As the pandemic progresses, more changes may be made to keep Lund an accessible and safe place.

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