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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

O’Pake reservation system a “learning curve” for students

Amid the pandemic, students must sign up for 90-minute slots in order to workout in the O’Pake gyms. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

At the start of the school year, Jenna Troyano ’22 looked forward to getting back into her workout routine at O’Pake Recreation Center. 

But every time she tried to make a reservation, she found the slots for when she wanted to work out were full.

Eventually, Troyano gave up and bought a membership to LA Fitness for the fall semester, which has a $29 initiation fee and costs $24.99 per month. She has since switched to Planet Fitness for a monthly fee of $20. O’Pake would have been free for Troyano since she is a student. 

Troyano said she was pushed to make this decision because of conflicts between her classes and availability at O’Pake. 

“The main problem is that there’s not a lot of time slot options,” Troyano said. 

Prior to the pandemic, O’Pake was open most weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. While weekends had a later start time of 10 a.m., the facility was open until 7 p.m. on Saturday and until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Now, the facility closes at 7 p.m. every day. 

The biggest adjustment for students, though, is that O’Pake is no longer a walk-in gym. Students must sign up for 90-minute time slots and can only book reservations up to 48 hours in advance. There are also 30-minute intervals for cleaning configured in the system.

Despite Troyano’s difficulties, Angie Nagle, assistant athletics director for Campus Recreation, said generally the problem is not so much with the reservation system as with students not fully understanding how the reservation process works.

“It’s new, and there’s this learning curve,” Nagle said. “They go on the reservation site and they’ll see nothing’s available for the whole month, thinking that everything is booked out for the whole month. That’s not the case. We only let people book for two days in advance so that we can put some limitations on and make things as fair as possible for students.”

Nagle said the biggest issue is not an inadequate number of reservations, but rather students not showing up to their reserved times. 

“If students don’t show up but don’t specifically cancel their reservation, they are taking up a spot that another person could use,” Nagle said.

If the trend continues, Campus Recreation will look at instituting a no-show policy, Nagle said, but for now, she and her staff want to remind students who can’t make their reservations to click the “cancel” button at the bottom of their appointment confirmation emails.

While Nagle said slots do get booked up daily, no-shows are a particular problem between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

“After 3:30 p.m., students are consistently securing and showing up for their reserved times,” Nagle said. “So, 3:30 to 7 p.m. is the busiest time at the rec center.”

Andrew Martinez ’24 is one of the students who regularly keeps his appointments at O’Pake. He said he plans ahead and doesn’t have a problem finding a spot.

“I think people make it out to be more difficult than it actually is,” Martinez said. “I have a link that my friend sent me a couple months ago, and I just saved it in our chat, and then I just click that 48 hours before I want to go.

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