Weight Room Availability

Weight Room Availability

Ever since the brand new, $10 million weight room was completed last November, there have been issues about its availability to students during and after school. Students believe the weight room should be available to them for multiple hours after school. They view their $20,725 tuition as a membership to the weight room. However, the administration requires a St. Thomas coach or faculty member to be present if a student wants to work out, making the weight room availability very limited. This rule is causing a great deal of frustration among students who want to use the weight room to get better in their respective sports so they can possibly be looked at by colleges. Many students have started to ask the questions, “Why can’t we use the weight room without a faculty member present?” and “Is it possible to have a faculty member present every day after school?” 

The administration argues that it is about safety and security. If a student were to get hurt in the weight room without adult supervision, it would reflect poorly on the school, making the administration look irresponsible and even reckless. The school is also concerned about possible theft or damage of equipment. With no adult present, students could simply walk in and take equipment, with nobody there to stop them. 

However, students have their own counter-argument. They believe that while getting hurt in the weight room could reflect badly on the school, it is incredibly unlikely as weightlifting injuries are rare to nonexistent at St. Thomas and are just as likely to occur with a faculty member there. Also, because high school students often lack the ability to lift heavy weights, their risk of injury is further diminished. Meanwhile, as far as the threats of theft are concerned, there are security cameras everywhere on Joplin Campus, with at least four in and surrounding the weight room. Therefore, any theft could easily be identified and the perpetrator reprimanded. 

The easy solution to this problem is having a faculty member supervise the weight room after school hours, making the weight room available each day for at least two hours after school. St. Thomas already does this with the LEC and the Student’s Activity Center, which have adults monitoring until 5:30 p.m. every day so that students can work and have fun. “Stationing an adult in the weight room after school each day is definitely something we are aiming to do,” Dean of Students Mr. Takacs said, “we hear the appeals from our student body and are trying to make its after school availability a reality in the near future.”

Many student-athletes at St. Thomas have dreams of earning scholarships to play competitively for various colleges and universities and having a weight room that is available after school is imperative in turning that dream into a reality. Having a St. Thomas faculty member there after school to make the weight room available would solve its availability issue and would be celebrated by many students.