Assistant News Editor
An announcement was made to all users of McMaster’s Pulse fitness centre on Nov. 11 with regards to a new usage monitoring system. It will be implemented to regulate the number of users allowed to use the Pulse at any given time.
The new practice is called the “one-in, one-out” policy. The system was put into effect as a result of a greatly elevated attendance level in the facility, resulting in long wait times for equipment.
Students were told in the email that the busiest times for the facilities are between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and were advised to consider using their memberships outside of the peak hours.
According to Debbie Marinoff Shupe, the Manager of Recreation Services at McMaster’s Department of Athletics and Recreation, this year has seen a record number of Pulse memberships purchased, most of which were bought by McMaster students.
A recent ranking of Canadian universities in Maclean’s Magazine said that 79 per cent of McMaster students participate in athletics and recreation in some form, many by purchasing a Pulse membership. It’s a number that, according to Marinoff Shupe, is much higher than the average for Canadian universities.
A steady yearly increase in Pulse fitness facility usage has occurred since the opening of the new facility in 2006.
In the 2005-2006 academic year, close to 8,000 memberships were sold, with a steady increase until numbers reached more than 11,000 this year.
In addition to the increase in Pulse membership purchases, this year has also seen a steady increase in the average number of times per month that the fitness centre is being used.
Not only are more students purchasing memberships, they are also using the facilities more often.
As a result of this increase, the “one-in, one-out” policy has been implemented. This method was first used in January of 2011, as January is typically the busiest month for the Pulse, but this is the first year that the system has been used in the fall.
“Part of what we want to do is educate people on different options,” added Marinoff Shupe, including using the upstairs running track and changing personal exercise schedules.
Athletics and Recreation is currently looking into options for expansion. However, this also raises concern. For example, where would new equipment go?
There is little room left for more cardio machines on the second floor, and the first floor is already packed with weight machines and free weights.
While this issue is seen by Athletics and Recreation as a positive statement on student fitness, this is a serious problem for those who wish to use the facilities, and an issue that will take time and resources to resolve.