By Taylor Powell
As Butler continues to grow, its student facilities must adapt to the new student population.
The Health and Recreation Complex serves as a critical location for student life, hosting medical services, intramural sports and late night programming.
But with midterms, piles of homework and club commitments, the HRC’s 11 o’clock closing time quickly comes and goes.
“In the beginning, because this was brand new to Butler, we looked at a lot of other universities our size and compared,” said the associate director of the HRC operations, Josh Downing. “From what we found, majority of schools were going 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.”
However, university recreation facilities such as at Ohio State and Georgetown University close at 2 a.m and midnight respectively.
From personal experience, almost all cardio machines on the main floor tend to be in use during the HRC’s last hour of operation. Many student organizations have evening meetings to avoid conflict with others, leaving limited time to go to the gym. For some students, the earliest time they can make time to work out is at 10 p.m.
“I just wish they were open later,” senior Mary Allgier said. “I know that I have gone there at 10 o’clock and I have to hurry up and the cardio machines are always taken.”
Check-in records show that a significant number of students use the HRC during the last hour of operation, said Downing. However, the number is less than the complex’s peak at 2 or 3 p.m.
Keeping the HRC open later would also create the opportunity for more student employment—something which is highly competitive here at Butler.
“A lot of students want to work at the HRC, and they would get more jobs even if they were open just an hour later,” Allgier said.
The HRC could possibly have to hire more staff, Downing said, depending on how many hours later it were open and if the budget were available.
Operating hours at the HRC may have to change due to growing popularity of club and intramural sport leagues and the need for gym space.
“Our intramural program is pretty big,” Downing said. “If we grow in students, we might need to have it open to allow for additional programming.
The HRC could push back its closing time to 1 a.m. and satisfy student need. More students could make time to work out and lead healthier, less-stressful lifestyles.
If students want a change in the HRC’s hours of operation, students only need to make a formal recommendation.
“We love to hear from students,” Downing said.
As a center for student life, the HRC must cater to students’ requests.
“This is your place,” Downing said. “What I mean by that is that this was built on the students’ backs. We are always willing to listen.”