Gym crowds pose threat to students
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 14:02
Limited space and resources in the George Nelson Fieldhouse have created a crowded environment prone to user injury, some students have said.
Mike Ginnetti, supervisor and coordinator of the Fieldhouse, said this time of year is the peak indoor recreation season as students search out a place to remain active and escape the cold weather.
Students and various athletic programs at the university use the Fieldhouse. Due to the high demand for use and insufficient resources, specific times are scheduled in which students may do different activities. It is during these allotted times when some parts of the Fieldhouse often become crowded.
Joseph Burt, USU men’s soccer club captain and student who participates in the Fieldhouse’s open-recreation soccer games, finds it difficult to use the building’s facilities because of the way they are currently managed.
“It is always really crowded on the lower courts,” Burt said. “There aren’t really a lot of options for us to play soccer. The Fieldhouse is used for different activities throughout the day so everyone that wants to play has to come all at the same time.”
Students experience the repercussions of the limited time in which they are allowed to participate in activities, like soccer, in the Fieldhouse.
“There are usually way too many players, all with varying levels of ability,” Burt said. “There is always a ton of contact with that many people.”
Abul Giasuddin, a student studying bioengineering, was injured during one such soccer game Feb. 19 when another player missed the ball, kicking Giasuddin’s foot and leaving a sprained toe.
“The problem is that we have like 40 guys every day playing in a very small space,” Giasuddin said. “It is very crowded, which makes it hard to play.”
To avoid injuries, university employees in the Fieldhouse are responsible for ensuring those using the facilities follow all rules and a safe capacity within different areas of the building is not exceeded.
“We take a lot of measures to be sure everyone who uses the Fieldhouse is kept safe,” Ginnetti said. “We do hourly court checks to be sure games don’t get bigger than eight-on-eight and we intervene if games get too big.”
According to students like Burt and Giasuddin, regulation of the activities in the Fieldhouse is not always effective.
“As long as we play within the allotted time, they pretty much leave it up to us,” Burt said. “Games will go on with too many players until they come over and tell us our time is up.”
Ginnetti said he hopes the new Aggie Recreation Center, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2015, will provide students with a less-crowded alternative to the Fieldhouse for recreational use.
“The new recreation center will be centered around students,” Ginnetti said. “Most of the athletic programs will continue using the Fieldhouse and will leave the recreation center open for easier drop-in use by students. Looser scheduling will make it so students can use facilities at different times, which should reduce crowds in both buildings.”