Director of Facilities and Recreation Jared Luteran and Director of Peak Performance and Fitness Chris Van Alstyne spoke in front of a packed Allegheny Student Government General Assembly on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
ASG welcomed the speakers to Henderson Campus Center room 301/302 to discuss the new changes to the David V. Wise Center.
Luteran began with announcing issues that have already been recognized and addressed surrounding the changes. Some of these developments include a new rack of dumbbells with weights ranging from 2 ½ to 20 pounds, a new mat rack outside of the public weight room and new treadmills with a decline feature.
“(Also) there was obviously a lot of feedback in the first week about the ventilation, because it wasn’t up and running,” Luteran said. “It is up and running now in both (the cardio room and the weight room).”
Regarding new developments, Luteran reported that mirrors installed for the upstairs cardio room have been ordered and will be up after spring break at the latest. Luteran also said that the racquetball court is in the process of being repainted and will be available for use after the project is finished.
To close his portion of the discussion, Luteran addressed the discourse about having a separate, exclusive weight room for varsity athletes. He explained that a private space is a very important feature to have when recruiting potential athletes.
“There are other schools that we compete against that have (a separate space for varsity athletes) so it is a big thing for the Athletic Department to be able to (provide that),” Luteran said.
Van Alstyne talked about how the demand for a private varsity weight room has increased as the Athletic Department continues to expand.
“The school went from 21 (athletic) teams to 23, so in a sense, there is more use going on within the athletic facility because of the athletic teams we added on,” Van Alstyne said.
Van Alstyne also mentioned that the creation of the new weight room was intended to provide available space for both varsity and non-varsity students alike.
“We had feedback that teams were just coming in, taking over the weight room, kicking out students and not having anywhere to go,” Van Alstyne said. “We have been able to address that issue (with the creation of the new weight room) so students do have a place to go and that we can coexist in the same building.”
Before opening the floor to questions, Luteran said that they would also be getting a new dumbbell rack in the upstairs cardio room in the next few weeks with the goal of alleviating overcrowding issues.
“It will keep people (in the cardio room) who just want to do a simple workout on a plyo ball and use dumbbells after they get off the treadmill (so they won’t have to) go down to the (downstairs) weight room to do that,” Luteran said.
Senator of Class of 2022 Pamela Rodriguez brought up a proposal to keep the varsity weight room door unlocked when teams are not lifting to still have that space available to non-varsity students.
Van Alstyne explained that the door will have to remain locked, because the varsity weight room will also be used for physical therapy and training, and, as a result, there will be equipment that cannot be left unmonitored.
Director of Communication and Press David Roach, ’21, explained the issue of overcrowding in the new weight room could possibly cause social issues between non-varsity and varsity students.
“We had some concerns that people aren’t going to want to tell (varsity athletes) to leave and (use their own weight room) because it’s kind of awkward,” Roach said.
Following Roach’s comment, Van Alstyne clarified that he had discussed the issue with the majority of the athletic teams and encouraged students to come to him or Luteran if there was an issue instead of approaching the student athletes directly.
“I sent an email out to the whole entire athletic department saying we are supposed to use (the varsity weight room), we’re not supposed to go in to the student center and use that space,” Van Alstyne said. “Let me know (if athletes are using the new weight room) because then I can address the issue with the team or with the player and be able to work through that.”
Luteran added to Van Alstyne’s comment, explaining that they are trying to work with coaches to create a schedule so teams can have set times for when they can use the varsity weight room if they can’t get a workout in during the open hours.
Luteran also mentioned that they are always monitoring what equipment people are using so they can get a better understanding of what to add and what to get rid of in the new areas.
“We’ll get through the year and keep listening to you guys and we’ll see (what changes need to be made),” Luteran said.
After the discussion with Luteran and Van Alstyne, ASG moved into cabinet reports.
In his report, Roach announced that he is working on another ASG video with Director of Finance Trevor Day, ’20, called “How To: Budget Hearing” to explain how the budget and finance process works.
Following Roach, Director of Community Relations Owen Jacobsen, ’23, reported that a constitution for a Youth Advisory Council was created where Allegheny students and other students from Meadville work to offer suggestions to Meadville City Council on certain matters.
After cabinet reports, ASG transitioned into class reports. The Class of 2022 discussed sending Valentine’s Day cards to two senior living facilities in Meadville, and the Class of 2023 said that they are finalizing the plans for the first-year formal.
During her report, Vice President Elyse Cinquino, ’20, made an announcement that she had a meeting with the Title IX committee about hosting a self defense class.
“We did manage to get Montgomery (Gymnasium) booked (for the self defense class) for the 8th of March from 5 to 6 p.m.” Cinquino reported. “We’re still getting the details around that but that could be a possible event that’s going to be happening.”
Following Cinquino, President Jason Ferrante, ’20, began his report by announcing that in the future Allegheny will be providing meal plans that provide students with at least 12 meals per week.
“Right now, the lowest meal plan, the mini plan, at best you get four meals a week total,” Ferrante said. “The second you go on that plan, you’re putting yourself in a situation where you could be food insecure.”
In addition to meal plan changes, Ferrante also announced that students will be getting more munch money on every plan and that a meal swipe donation program may also be enacted.
After a few more announcements, the meeting came to a close at 8:17 p.m.