Campus, News

FitRec reopens for Spring semester

Boston University’s Fitness and Recreation Center reopened Friday. SHANNON DAMIANO/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Boston University’s Fitness and Recreation Center opened its doors for the Spring semester Friday.

Reservations — which can be made up to three days in advance — are required for recreational gym use. Students can reserve one time slot per day for a 90-minute session.

FitRec will continue to operate with COVID-19 restrictions that were followed last semester. The badminton, squash, volleyball and basketball courts have been suspended indefinitely, as have the rock climbing wall and the track and tennis center.

“The same safety protocols are in place this semester as were in place fall 2020,” Kris Covarrubias, assistant director of marketing and communications for FitRec, wrote in an email.

Precautions in place include mask wearing at all times, social distancing and no access to showers and lockers. Students are asked to come dressed to work out and able to present their green Healthway badge confirming their COVID-19 testing compliance.

“Staff are in place throughout the facility to ensure compliance with protocols,” Covarrubias wrote.

David Tran, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he was opposed to the reopening of the gym.

“I think they should stay closed,” Tran said. “They’re doing their best, but I think it depends on who’s there, the amount of people.”

He said he had been to the facility in the Fall, but he would not feel comfortable going back this Spring, despite the continued safety precautions.

“It’s not because of BU or the FitRec, it’s just because there’s an increase in COVID cases,” Tran said. “That’s the only reason.”

College of General Studies freshman Ronald Freeman-Carter said he felt “indifferent” about the reopening because it doesn’t not personally affect him.

“Given the weather and stuff and then the protocol,” Freeman-Carter said, “it seems kind of unnecessary for something I could probably just do in my dorm. The risk is not really … worth it.”

Freeman-Carter said reopening may not be the most optimal decision for trying to curb the spread of the virus.

“It seems kind of counterproductive because obviously there’s way more cases than at the start of 2020,” he said. “You’d think you’d want to keep that stuff closed until we see a decrease.”

Covarrubias wrote the facility opened as soon as state, city and University public health guidance allowed, and was not linked to the spread of cases last semester.

“We had no outbreaks or clusters of positive cases related to FitRec programs in the fall,” she wrote.

The decision to reopen in the Fall and Spring was made under the direction of multiple advisory groups, Covarrubias wrote.

“There continues to be a variety of university groups reviewing and approving reopening plans with the goal of developing and maintaining a safe environment for the BU community,” she wrote.

Manav Gagvani, a freshman in the Questrom School of Business, said he felt FitRec’s safety precautions are adequate.

“I don’t think they can do anything more than that,” he said.

Gagvani said he is less concerned with going to the gym now that he is on campus because “everyone’s in their own shelters.” He added that other facilities, such as the badminton and basketball courts, should also be reopened.

“I feel like they should open everything up if they’ve just opened the gym as well,” Gagvani said. “They might as well open everything.”

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