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Task Force on Health and Well Being: Progress Report - page 13 / 24

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Other comments on the website echoed these points and proposed that the pool have longer hours of operation; the gym open earlier in the morning for those who don’t have mid-day or end-of-day flexibility; there be more classes aimed primarily at members of the staff; fees be reduced for staff in lower salary ranges and some courses be offered for free; towels be provided;

From the comments we received, our user survey, our comparisons with peer institutions, and our extensive discussions with Dillon staff, we conclude that Dillon is a heavily used facility that offers an impressive array of programs and services, despite the constraints of staffing and space; that many are frustrated by the design of the building and the difficulty of making use of it at times that are convenient for them; that many members of the community do not make use of Dillon either because they are not aware of its offerings, are uncomfortable using it, or because of difficulties related to schedule or cost; and that Dillon does not compare well to fitness and recreation facilities at our peer institutions.  In our January report we took a first step toward increasing awareness of the programs available at Dillon1 and shortly thereafter we asked a member of the task force, Jonathan Baer, the director of Building Services, to arrange for improvements in the cleanliness of Dillon and a number of long-deferred repairs.  A number of steps have been taken over the past several months, although there is still more to be done.   

In the view of the task force, Dillon should serve the entire University community—students, faculty, staff, and to a lesser extent local alumni.  Currently a small number of non-affiliated community members use the facilities at Dillon, but we believe that the primary focus should be on the University community.  Dillon should provide a full range of fitness and recreational opportunities and facilities, along with appropriate support services such as child care facilities either onsite or nearby which would allow parents to use Dillon more easily.  Currently not enough is done to provide ease of use and access for faculty and staff.  

We have organized our recommendations into short-term, mid-term, and longer-term:

Short-term Recommendations

Institute Friday night programs at Dillon (say 6-10 p.m.) where parents can drop off their children to take part in organized athletic/fun activities or to work out.

Communicate Dillon programs and policies better so people know they can take a physical education class for a week to try it and get their money back if they don’t like it.

Create a fair for physical education classes where members of the University community can learn about the various classes offered, meet the instructors, ask questions.

Encourage the current Dillon staff to be more accessible and proactive in helping users.

1 As part of Dillon’s physical education program, more than 3,000 members of the campus community participate in 206 classes in 10 core areas: aquatics, dance, fitness programs, group fitness, racquet sports, spinning, self-defense, special interest (e.g., golf, figure skating), wellness classes (e.g., yoga, tai chi), and wellness programs (e.g., weight management).  In addition to 32 club sports, it has an intramural sports program with 328 teams in 23 team sports,  8 individual sports, and 7 meets and tournaments. Dillon also sponsors a broad range of informal sports, a number of special events, and a summer day camp that averages 76 children per week for six weeks.   

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