By Jordan Miller
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are wary of the safety of public gyms, including the Pohl Rec Center. The Rec Center is a very popular hub on campus where students can go to work out, play sports, and stay active, however with new safety precautions the gym looks much different than it did last year. Despite these differences though, the staff at the Rec Center are dedicated to providing a place where UNT students can go to blow off steam while also feeling safe and healthy.
“The main policy that we have is ‘mask up and wipe down’ . . . and the idea that everyone has a mask on including staff and participants as well as wiping down, so we want folks wiping down equipment and cleaning it after use.” Assistant Director of Communications for the Pohl Rec Center, Ben Hanisian, said. This policy is posted all around the Rec Center on signs and posters to make sure that everyone is following the rules and staying safe. Sanitizing stations are positioned throughout the equipment areas with towels, spray bottles, and laundry baskets for used towels. The Rec Center is also enforcing social distancing through the use of marked off squares on the floor, creating separated spaces for students to work out while staying 6 feet away from other participants.
If you stop by the Rec Center for a quick work out, it is clear to see that UNT students are dedicated to halting the spread of the virus. All students wear their masks properly, stay away from each other, and thoroughly sanitize equipment after use. In fact, Hanisian cited the students’ dedication as the main reason why the Rec is able to stay open.
“I think the folks that are here want to be here and know that it’s a necessary part of staying open.” He said. “We have had very little problems overall.”
Getting exercise is an important part of staying healthy. Students who use the Rec Center regularly and commit to staying active have better overall GPA’s, more focus, and higher productivity. Now that students are afraid to risk going out in public, many have stopped using the Rec Center. But with all of the new safety measures implemented by the staff, Hanisian says that it couldn’t be safer to hit the gym.
“Absolutely it is safe to use the Rec Center,” He said. “In fact, with everything new that we are doing it’s probably safer than it’s ever been.”
There are also plenty of ways to get involved at the Rec Center without physically going for a visit. The Rec has expanded its programs to virtual and online forms, still offering training and group work out sessions over zoom and even hosting seasonal events like virtual pumpkin carving and virtual runs. For more information on the Rec Center’s new policies and their virtual programs, you can visit https://recsports.unt.edu/.