Gym crunch prompts changes, but students see opening of South as an inadequate fix

This semester, the South Hall Fitness Center will be open to all students instead of just South Hall residents, according to an official university announcement made to the entire campus.

The decision came after rumors of a possible new gym being in the works was spreading around the Norwich campus. Students who wants access to the gym at south hall needs to fill out a form and send it to

While this may be an answer to the overcrowding issues in Plumley Armory, some students, like Sean Casbarro, believe allowing access at South is not the solution for the long run.

“They should build another one cause the one in Plumley doesn’t fit everyone” said Casbarro, a 19-year-old sophomore from Hamden, Conn. “It’ll be nice if they built another one around campus.”

One of the greatest complaints students have about Plumley is the lack of space and how it tends to be overcrowded most of the days. Opening South is supposed help reduce the overcrowding, but students say they will still use Plumley gym instead of the one in South.

“South is ideal for running if you don’t want to run outside but other than that it doesn’t offer a lot,” said 22-year-old history and education major Charles Constantino from South Riding, Va. “Most of my workouts I can find what I need at Plumley, I’ve passed through South before and most of the machines they have are for cardio only.”

Faris Ismail, a 21-year-old accounting major from Saudi Arabia currently living in South Hall, says that not a lot of people use the fitness center as is.

“I see a few people when I always pass the gym, I rarely seen the gym full. Plus Plumley has more equipment to use.”

The gym in Plumley Armory has many types of equipment that are not available in South Hall, which includes squat racks and a bench press.

Even the most crowded room in Plumley, the weight room, does not have a double in South. “It’s always crowded especially when the sports team come down to do their workouts,” said Andrew Churchill, 20, environmental science major from Scituate, Mass. He says a new gym would benefit a lot.

“You can have Plumley gym for the corps and the new gym for the sports team,” said Churchill. He says not many would use the gym in South since Plumley is more convenient for most people.

“The time where most people have available to go to the gym is always crowded, you have to wait some period of time sometimes to use the equipment you want use,” said Casbarro. “Plus sometimes the equipment doesn’t even work.”

Another problem a lot of students encounter is broken equipment in the overcrowded gym, which a new gym or the expansion of Plumley could be the solution to, according to Sam Gozo, 22, a criminal justice major from Rahway, N.J.

“They necessarily don’t have to build a new gym but expanding the gym would probably be beneficial,” said Gozo. “We can also use some new equipment since some don’t work properly, an upgrade wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

Matt Koser, a 22-year-old criminal justice major from Lexington, Mass. Says he agrees. “We do need more space for people and equipment, you be surprised how crowded it could get.”

Jay Vinci, a 20-year-old criminal justice major from Brattleboro, Vt., agrees that it is inconvenient for people to use South and it also has a smaller space. Even with South open people will still use Plumley, he said.

Timothy Annese, 20, a communication major from Natick, Mass., has not really experienced problems although he does not use the gym at Plumley. But he agrees with others that that something should be done about the crunch on gum facilities. “I don’t use the gym much since I work a lot on running but the times I’ve been there I’ve seen it be crowded, plus I hear it from other people complaining about it so, I think something should be done,” he said.

Until then, students around campus will likely continue going for a workout at the gym down in Plumley, just because it is closer to most people and more convenient for them to be at.

Students are hopeful that down the road the school will address this issue and something will be done about it sooner than later. “It’s a good gym and has everything we need,” Gozo said.

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