By Eva Monhaut
For students looking to stay healthy and get in a workout between classes, the Student Activities Center (SAC) facilities are currently open and operational with new COVID-19 protocols in place. Students can use the facilities Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Executive Director of Athletics and Activities, Steve Bruce relates these updates policies which include a mandatory temperature and healthy screening before entering, single point entry, advanced cleaning stations and protocols, extra staff to cover updated cleaning responsibilities, limited capacity, locked shower area and masks required except for those partaking in strenuous cardio activities.
For some students, returning to public gym facilities during the pandemic may be a source of anxiety, but the SAC staff has taken the recommended precautions to make the facilities clean and safe for all of its visitors.
“We wanted to continue to provide a wellness opportunity for our IU South Bend community. Our restart committee worked to put new protocols into place to create a safe environment for our patrons. We do believe that this was the right choice,” Bruce said.
Part of keeping everyone on campus safe includes closing down the shower area in the locker rooms during the pandemic, as well as, not permitting the use of “live” activities such as group volleyball, basketball, and the racquetball court. Additionally, some of the weight room equipment has been temporarily removed and reorganized to help implement social distancing practices.
The SAC emphasizes that things are up to change at any point based on the trajectory of the pandemic. As of now the SAC plans to proceed with the same protocols during the Spring semester. When classes go entirely online at the end of the Fall 2020 semester, the SAC also plans on closing to its patrons until February when IU estimates classes will return to an entirely normal-in person.
During these difficult times it is important that students can still have healthy, active outlets while feeling that they can work out in a safe environment.
“Everyone has been very respectful and understanding of the “new” SAC procedures [but] overall, traffic has been light during these first four weeks of class,” stated Bruce.