Rec Sports fitness classes canceled

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Rec Plex and Rec Center fitness classes with low attendance are being canceled because of a new policy enacted this semester.

The policy states that in order for a fitness class to continue, there needs to be a minimum of eight to 10 participants signed up for the class. If this number is not met, the class will be canceled because it cannot generate enough profit to pay for the instructor, said Christen Biskelonis, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and instructor of the fitness class, “Winter Can ‘Weight.'”

So far, an Irish step dancing class and one session of a Zumba class have been canceled because of the new policy.

“If we were going to end up paying the instructor more than what we brought in, money-wise, then we canceled the class,” said Shannon Bustillos, an assistant director in the Department of Recreational Sports.

Class instructors are Marquette students who are trained and fit to teach, Bustillos said. Two group fitness supervisors manage the instructors, Bustillos said.

“We have instructor meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page for anything from cleaning equipment to using the stereo to taking proper attendance,” Bustillos said.

Bustillos encourages students to participate in classes. Students have three different options for classes: a 10-week class and two separate five-week classes. Prices vary depending on the length of the class. For students concerned about the expense, Bustillos said the charge is minimal.

For example, she said one session of yoga can be about $60 at a private club or studio, whereas Marquette charges $50 for 10 weeks.

Fitness classes are beneficial, partly because they vary workout routines, said Christine Pfankuch, a staff member in the Department of Recreational Sports at the Rec Center.

“A fitness class helps you to push farther than you otherwise would,” Pfankuch said. “You will also learn new exercises and the time goes by faster, and it is more fun.”

Participants in Biskelonis’ fitness class said the classes help support the university’s commitment to promoting health and wellness to students, faculty and staff.

Jean Zanoni, associate dean of Marquette libraries and a fitness class participant for the last five years, said the profitability of the classes should not impede the university’s commitment to health and wellness.

“Benefits to participate outweigh the lower profits that are a result of low attendance,” Zanoni said. “Canceling classes with low attendance could further diminish interest in the program.”

Students and members of the fitness program are able to register for classes at a lower cost than non-members. Currently, classes that are not full are still open for late enrollment.

The Rec Center and Rec Plex offer free fitness assessments and basic open recreation. Students, staff and faculty can also sign up for a personal trainer for a fee.

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