The Zone – what has changed since the referendum passed?

zoneThanks to the passing of the Student Life Fee Referendum in March earlier this year, one of the many changes that Brock has offered its students a membership to The Zone that we don’t need to pay additional expenses for. For those of you who don’t know what the Zone is, it is our very own on-campus fitness centre. Since the beginning of September, all Brock University undergraduate and graduate students are given access to the Zone as part of our ancillary fees when registering for classes. Not only are students allowed access to the gym, but the student life referendum has made it so that we also have access to the fitness classes, aqua fitness classes, spin classes, running programs at no additional charge.

As students, we are having to pay more per year because of the referendum, but considering the changes that have been made at Brock because of it, there is one thing worth asking, specifically regarding the Zone – is it worth it? I would have to say yes.

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in the past when I said, “If the Zone was “free”, I’d go.”  Now that it is included in our tuition and we don’t have to pay more to use the fitness centre, there is a visible change in the number of students attending the gym within the first month alone.

Eric Walter, fitness centre manager at the Zone has also commented on the attendance at the zone. He says, “We record attendance hourly in the Zone and all Fitness classes, and have been pleased to see that students are taking advantage of their memberships. We are starting to see the daily and weekly patterns in usage, and are updating our twitter feed and website several times daily letting people know how busy the Zone is at any given time, as well as other options during those times.”

Before the Student Life Fee Referendum, Brock may have been one of only a few schools to charge the students separately for a gym membership, while other universities like McMaster and Western had already included it in their tuition. Since the vote, it’s nice to see how much that the referendum has paid off, and how many changes are being made for the students by the fitness centre to better satisfy our needs.

The Zone is currently continuing to adjust their fitness program offerings based on usage and trends. They have also been increasing the number of classes available since the referendum passed. They are also being aware of the traffic flow to The Zone and are constantly adjusting equipment to provide members with a more efficient fitness centre.

“With the installation of the new floor this past summer, which had been budgeted for prior to the referendum taking place, it also gave us the opportunity to make changes to our equipment layout, making for a more space-efficient area, better accommodating the increase in use,” said Walter.

With everything currently going on in Brock, it’s nice to see how there are services provided to the students that look out for our best interests. The Zone plans on continuing to monitor participation and member feedback to make constant improvements where needed.

For more information, follow Brock Recreation Services on Twitter @BrockRecService, or visit http://www.brocku.ca/recreation-services/facilities-and-hours/zone

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