Dow Center reopens with restrictions

The Dow Center and DeVos Fieldhouse both reopened to Hope College students on Wednesday, Sept. 9. 

The news of this change was announced in an email to students from Assistant Athletic Director Lindsey Engelsman on the previous day. According to the email, the reopening of the two facilities occurred on the first day that all fitness centers in the state of Michigan were allowed to open their doors per Governor Whitmer’s executive order.

While the Dow and DeVos are open again, some changes have been made to how they operate. First, they are only operating at 25% of their capacities. 

In order to regulate the number of people that are in each space, students must sign up for a time slot to go and work out. The Sign-Up Genius link to reserve a time is on the webpages for both the Dow and DeVos. Students must then have the confirmation of their reservation ready to show to the employees at the door in order to be allowed in.

“You have to, with Sign-Up Genius, have that pulled up at the door and ready to go and be able to show that to the supervisor at any time when you’re asked throughout your signup time,” said junior Whitney Wegener, a supervisor at the Dow.

In addition to showing proof of their reservation, Wegener said that students need to have their daily health screening form filled out and show the confirmation of that to the door guard before entering. 

On top of regulating who is coming into the facilities, there are other policies that students must follow while working out to keep everyone healthy. For example, while there were always spray bottles with cleaning solution in the various rooms, the enforcement of cleaning equipment after use is a lot stricter now.

“Every student must wipe down their equipment as soon as they are finished using it. This includes everything from dumbbells, to weight bars to cardio machines,” said Engelsman in her email. 

Another change that has been implemented is regulating the flow of traffic into and out of the buildings and the various rooms throughout them.

There are a number of policies that make going to the Dow and DeVos a new experience. However, Wegener said that students have been doing well with all of the changes.

“I think everything has gone pretty smoothly. Like, people want to stay on campus, they want to be back in the weight rooms and everything like that,” Wegener said.

Wegener said that she thinks the Dow is doing everything they should be doing to keep everyone safe. Additionally, she said that it is all of these precautions and the planning behind them that has allowed the reopening to go so smoothly.

“The students and the faculty are all taking all the safeguards, and they’re doing a really great job with it so far,” Wegener said. “As Dow members, we wanna say keep up the good work.”

As of now, the Dow and DeVos are only open to student use. According to the email from Engelsman, this will remain true until Oct. 1, which is when they will decide if it is practical to open up to employees of the college as well.

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