Students struggle to get Campus Recreation reservations during pandemic

Elon University freshman Lamar Williams drives to Planet Fitness in Burlington five days a week

Elon University freshman Lamar Williams drives to Planet Fitness in Burlington five days a week to work out, frustrated he can never get a reservation at any of the Campus Recreation and Wellness facilities. 

“There’s just never open time slots at the [campus] fitness centers,” Williams said.

Williams is not alone. Some students and club sports teams have sought off-campus fitness options. 

The policies implemented by Campus Rec to ensure a safe environment during the pandemic have created other problems for students. While the new measures are compliant with Ready & Resilient and North Carolina safety guidelines, many students are frustrated with the limited availability as a result of the new policies. 

Per North Carolina guidelines, indoor fitness center patrons must wear face coverings at all times and remain at least six feet apart. Gyms must also operate at only 50% of fire capacity.

The process to sign up for facility access has been completely overhauled. In the past, the platform IMLeagues had been used by students primarily to sign up for group exercise classes, but Campus Rec has expanded the use of the reservation system. 

IMLeagues now includes sign-ups for Koury Athletic Fitness Center, Studio 5, PARC Fitness Center, the squash court and the racquetball court. Students must create an account using their Elon email and reserve spaces through the IMLeagues app or website. 

For some students, the app has not worked well and inhibited them from getting reservations to Campus Rec facilities.

“The IML app is very glitchy,” sophomore Katie Leupold said. “I’ve faced many difficulties using the system to reserve a time to work out, and I don’t like that the reservations for a week open all at once.” 

Campus Rec has the reservation system set up so all reservations for the next seven days open every Thursday at 12:10 p.m. 

Director of Campus Recreation and Wellness Larry Mellinger declined Elon News Network’s request for an interview, but referred ENN to Campus Rec’s page for Spring 2021 COVID-19 info.

Some athletic facilities have been closed entirely by the university. While North Carolina guidelines allow exercise pools to remain open, Campus Rec has chosen to close both Beck Pool and the Station at Mill Point Pool indefinitely. With the closing of Beck Pool, Elon Club Swimming has to go off campus to train. 

“I’m just thankful we can practice,” sophomore and Club Swimming President Adam Cheifetz said. 

Due to the closures, Club Swimming now practices at the YMCA of Burlington, which Cheifetz said he is grateful for. 

“At least we can practice somewhere, even off campus, instead of not being able to practice at all,” Cheifetz said. 

Despite the obstacles created by these new policies, students like freshman Maggie Bevier still utilize the facilities. 

“I really enjoy going to work out on campus,” Bevier said, “but it’s just so hard to both work the reservation system and find a time to work out.”