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Wednesday, February 13,2013

Students suggest a better Ping

Forum allows users to suggest improvements

By Alexander Card
Ping Center
Photo Credits: Maddie McGarvey
Photo Caption: Ping Center will be changing its hours.

Students and Campus Recreation officials met Tuesday evening to exchange ideas regarding the developmental direction of Ohio University's Ping Center. Discussion topics at the open forum ranged from space usage to faulty lighting in the racquetball court.

Steven Sammons, interim executive director of Campus Recreation at OU, opened the floor with a simple question: "What's on your mind?" Though only a few students were in attendance at the forum's start, discussion began immediately with one student's request for more exercise "squat racks." Sammons seemed attentive throughout the event and responded to students' inquiries in a conversational manner.

Present at the forum alongside Sammons was Larrissa Keiser, Campus Recreation's assistant director of promotions and assessment. Keiser led much of the discussion by introducing new topics to the floor, as well as answering questions with Sammons.

Many issues were brought up at the forum, representing a variety of students who each utilize Ping in different ways. One male student raised concerns about the safety of the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the facility, requesting a speed bump be installed. Another student complained that the recent allowance for cut-off shirts promoted the bloated egos of certain weightlifters (as he stated, "meat-heads"). Others raised concerns about what they considered to be a lack of sanitation with the exercise equipment.

The hottest topics at the forum seemed to be space usage and the state of certain pieces of equipment. Several students asked about the necessity of what they consider redundant equipment, insisting that space could be better utilized. Students claimed a number of items were in disrepair throughout Ping, such as dumbbells, stationary bikes and other machines. To give Campus Recreation a better idea of which machines are in the highest demand, one man recommended an audit of usage be performed.

Students trickled in and out throughout the course of the forum, though overall attendance remained small. Some students came only to voice a concern and leave, while others stayed for the entire event.

A large projector screen was set up for the forum, but ultimately went unused due to low attendance. A system had been devised in which students would have answered polling questions on the screen via text message.

No dates have been announced for future discussion, but Campus Recreation hopes "to hold these forums bi-semester, or once a semester," according to Keiser. For more information, students can contact her at


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