Wellness Center to be closed for Debate

As the University of Miami gears up for the imminent Presidential Debate, the Wellness Center has closed for the use of media. The Wellness Center was chosen for its size and proximity to the Convocation Center-the location of the debate-and was actually one of the reasons UM was chosen to host the event. The gym is scheduled to reopen Friday at noon. While the gym is closed, aerobics and yoga classes will be held in the UC Ballrooms.

As of last week, the Wellness Center had already been undergoing transformations. Students faced some disappointments even before the entire gym closed.

“It’s going to be the worst week ever,” said Ashley Dobble, a sophomore who goes to the gym five times a week. “They’re ruining it already-they had no free weights today. It’s horrible.”

Many have asked why no pro-rated fee was offered to students and other patrons, to take into consideration the loss of gym services. Norm Parsons, director of Wellness and Recreation, explained that no group was offered a pro-rated fee because the University still needs to pay for upkeep of the facilities. He mentioned that even during hurricanes there is no reduced price.

During the debate, approximately 2,000 media representatives will be expected. Two thousand desks, Ethernet cables and phone wires will be set up. Center Court will be used for interviews and be called Spin Alley.

While creating a temporary gym under tents or somewhere outside of the building was contemplated, ultimately it was deemed too difficult and dangerous to the machines. Wellness Center administrators explained that the schools that are able to set up tents don’t have hurricanes; Miami is in fact expecting high speed winds due to Hurricane Jeanne.

Another alternative discussed was using the athletes’ gym during this time. However, that gym was booked with athletic team practices, and the facility mainly contains weightlifting equipment, while students usually utilize cardio machines.

“I don’t know why they didn’t use the Convocation Center [for media], but I guess the Convocation rooms were being used for something else, like the parties,” said Zach Schneider, a senior who works at the Wellness Center.

Although a majority of students are displeased with the gym closing, they are also aware of the need to use the Wellness Center and accept it as part of holding the debate.

The gym will reopen Friday at noon.

While the gym is closed, aerobics and yoga classes will be at the UC Ballrooms.

“I’m kind of upset, but I understand why [the gym is being closed],” Stephanie Wood, sophomore, said. “They need to put the media somewhere.”

Ali Butrico, a junior volunteering in the debate, is highly supportive of the decision.

“Being a political science student, I am very involved in this year’s Presidential election and I think it is an honor for the University to be taking such an important role in the upcoming election by hosting the debate,” Butrico said. “To me, it’s a small price to pay-and exercise can be done in many other places besides a gym.”

Some students are skeptical that with the debate running well into Thursday night, the Wellness Center will be able to open soon the following day. They are doubtful that the transition from getting the media out, to putting all the equipment back, can be as quick as administration says.

Areas not used for the debate are scheduled to open as early as possible on Friday. Students are advised to call the Wellness Center’s main number, 305-284-8500, on Friday for more information.

Candice Castaneda can be contacted at

September 28, 2004


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.