It’s time for the Baruch gym to fully reopen

The Editorial Board

Opening the Baruch gym is in the best interest of the Baruch community and proper precautions should be taken to ensure a safe reopening.

The Athletic and Recreation Complex (ARC) is currently only accessible to students enrolled in physical education classes, students who have rented a Paid Locker Rental, or student athletes competing in the College’s NCAA Division III Programs.

Locker rentals are available to ARC members, students, faculty and alumni on either a semesterly or yearly basis for $110 per semester or $330 for the full year, from September to August.

Baruch’s decision to keep the ARC closed is not in line with city or state policy. New York City Mayor Eric Adams even announced an end to the mask mandate for public schools and the proof of vaccination requirement for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues.

Keeping the ARC closed is also inconsistent with Baruch’s policies and the recent shift to a majority in-person modality for classes.

Modeling the reopening guidelines for Baruch’s fitness center after the guidelines set forth by the New York State governor’s office is one way for the Baruch administration to balance the benefits of opening the fitness center with lingering concerns about COVID-19.

If and when the Baruch fitness center reopens, the guidelines should adhere to the mandatory practices established by New York State. Measures like modifying the layout of the space, initiating disinfectant practices and social distancing when possible, can all help mitigate pandemic hazards.

Currently, the ARC is still in use. The regulations and accommodations made for students with access to the fitness center currently can easily be extended to the rest of the Baruch community.

Baruch can follow the “Athletic Reopening Plan Spring 2022” that they have already put into effect for sports.

For many students, the Baruch facilities provide an accessible, inexpensive opportunity to improve their physical and mental health.

Exercise has been linked to benefits like combating health conditions and diseases as well as controlling weight gain or loss. It has also been shown to improve mood, boost energy and promote better sleep.

There is nothing to be gained by belaboring the reopening of the ARC.

Having access to Baruch’s fitness center is one of the benefits of being part of the Baruch community and waiting any longer will let the advantages of the ARC go to waste.