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Viewpoint: REC 2.0 is Long Overdue

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courtesy of Rec Sports

courtesy of Rec Sports

courtesy of Rec Sports

Callie Heinrich, Sports Reporter

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The Recreational Eagle Center is getting a much-needed addition, which is intended to open in 2019. The new addition, known as REC 2.0, will introduce a new strength center and second level multipurpose space to UW- La Crosse.

If you have been to the REC, I am sure you have noticed how small the strength center is, which offers little space for people to work out in, and in turn creates a very intimidating atmosphere. Students are turned away from the benefits of working out before they even get a chance to do so.

The demographic in the strength center is hard to ignore. There are by far more males present than females. When there are females lifting, its usually not during “peak” gym hours, or they are with a friend.

Additionally, when a female enters the weight room full of guys, she either is stared at like an object, or is completely ignored. This does not just happen at UWL, but in gyms all over, since weight rooms are commonly known as male dominate spaces.

Just this week, one of my friends told me about her experience working out in a gym here in La Crosse. A guy approached her while she was working out and said, “I like the way you squat”. When is it ever okay for a guy to ever approach a girl and say something that has a sexual innuendo?  The answer is never and that is called sexual harassment.

It’s not just sad, but frustrating when she told me she immediately left mid workout because she felt so uncomfortable. Females should never have to feel sexualized while working out, or starred at, when all they want to do is work out in a place they feel comfortable in.

According to the Strength Center Coordinator Dennis Klein, “The new center will incorporate different zones for beginning, intermediate, and advanced strength equipment”. He continued, “Along with that, the heavier lifting equipment behind the counter, far removed from the basic fitness machines”.

With the heavier equipment further away and a large, open entrance, REC 2.0 will eliminate the common feeling women have upon entering a weight room, and will allow students of all gender types, and fitness levels to find their own space to feel comfortable.

As someone who has only been in the strength center only a handful of times, I look forward to REC 2.0 knowing it was designed with the purpose to make it more spacious and comfortable by increasing the max capacity by 90 students and creating a space for everyone.

Weightlifting can be fun, stress relieving, and an overall great workout. So why not create a space that is inclusive for everyone?

To read more about REC 2.0 or to see more pictures on the plans you can click here.

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Viewpoint: REC 2.0 is Long Overdue