Students React to Reopening of Rec Hall Fitness Center

Story posted October 15, 2020 in CommRadio, News by Mitch Broder

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State announced Sunday that it will reopen Rec Hall’s Hepper Fitness Center on Monday, Oct. 12.

The facility will be open to students from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

To adhere to capacity limits and local public health guidelines, students can sign up for 75-minute time slots, which are open 48 hours before the session starts. Masking and social distancing are required to be in use while at the Hepper Fitness Center, along with sanitization of the equipment.

However, not every student is sure about the precautions that are in place. Bram Wallach, a junior majoring in film, is hoping that the precautions put in place will help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

“I don’t know if you can get the number down to zero if you’re letting in a bunch of people to work out, touch the same things, sweat and breathe heavily,” Wallach said. “There is only so much you can sanitize so quickly.”

The Hepper Fitness Center will allow students to use weights and specifically selected strength equipment, along with a floor exercise area, treadmills and other elliptical equipment.

Despite the excitement for many students of the news, Wallach remains wary about whether this a good decision by the university.

“I would have waited until next semester [to reopen Rec Hall],” Wallach said. “You’re playing a dangerous game opening up something like a gym in the middle of October when the weather is getting colder. People are going to get sick.”


Mitch Broder is a junior majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email