For ages, Temple students’ intentions to diligently exercise have been thwarted by the combination of the IBC’s early closing hours and their own busy schedules. Yet good news has arrived with the beginning of the fall semester: the IBC is extending its hours. These new closing times could potentially alter the drinking habits of students, their fitness and their mental well-being – that is, as long as it’s a Thursday or Friday night.
The IBC management is extending its hours on Thursday and Friday nights until 11 p.m. and midnight, respectively, in an attempt to give students an alternative to drinking. The additional information programs it offers also hope to increase awareness about alcohol so that students might opt to drink less, if they choose to drink at all.
It is wonderful news to hear that the IBC has Temple students’ best interests at heart. Yet when it comes down to it, a student who has a party to go to with friends is going to choose the party over exercising any day. This does not speak for all students though, as there are many that value their fitness time over socialization. They are the dedicated ones. Nevertheless, the IBC’s lofty goals of averting students from the bottle are not what make these extended hours great.
The number of college students who care deeply about health and fitness is astounding. Unfortunately, so are their class and work schedules. Therefore, it is not always easy for students to find time to exercise. As odd as it might sound to some, there are people who would workout in the later part of the evening if it meant being able to add it to their daily routines. The IBC’s new operation hours make this possible, even if only on Thursdays and Fridays.
Danielle Fluck, a freshman biology major, said that the new hours suit her schedule. “I like it a lot because I work on my homework right after my classes, go to dinner, and can use the time before I go to bed to exercise.” Regarding the use of the Friday night hours, she said she would definitely utilize them.
“It’s really helpful to me because I live off-campus,” said Jim Maroulis, a junior political science and marketing major. “The later closing hours allow me to come back and have a substantial amount of time to exercise, whereas with the old hours, I couldn’t. I need to exercise; it helps me sleep, it makes me feel better in general.”
Yet are these improvements enough? The University of Pennsylvania’s Pottruck Health and Fitness Center is open until 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, and until midnight on Fridays. A fitness center is a facility that should have maximum availability, and with what Temple students are paying for it, an extension on Thursdays and Fridays just isn’t enough.
These later closing hours could also boost students’ exercise ethic. It’s noticeable every fall how the IBC is packed with eager patrons; yet a few weeks into the semester, those numbers noticeably decline because people lose their motivation to workout once daunted by the extreme demand of their courses.
However, if people have the option of using the facility later at night, they might gain back their zealous exercise behavior. Of course, with only extended hours on Thursday and Friday, this resurgence is going to be a slow one.
While scouting the IBC on its first Thursday and Friday night of the semester, there was not much to be seen. There were the aforementioned dedicated ones, but more can be expected to take advantage of this opportunity. This new accessibility is a noteworthy improvement and more may happen over time. After all, the university was not built on just a Thursday and Friday night.
Jesse North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.