North Central College - Naperville, IL

Student government targets fitness center completion


The reality of a new state-of-the-art fitness facility in the Res/Rec Center is on the horizon.

“While living in Res/Rec last year, I personally noticed the need for a new fitness center available for all students,” says Chris Smith ’10.

As treasurer of the College’s Student Governing Association (SGA) during his senior year, Smith became motivated to address this facility need on campus. He and SGA announced a pledge of $100,000 toward the $160,000 total cost of completing the fitness center. “Since SGA’s purpose is to be the student voice in the administration, we felt it was our duty to jumpstart the facility so it would be ready for the incoming students in fall 2010,” Smith says.

At the start of the 2009-2010 school year, SGA had a surplus of $91,000 from student activity fees. With strategic planning and saving, SGA was able to sustain a large sum of money by the end of the school year. In May, Smith and other members of SGA voted unanimously that the money saved throughout the year should go toward completing the fitness center.

“Amy Clarke-Sievers ’03 (director of student involvement) and I wanted to make sure the current student activity fees were spent on current students,” Smith says.

In order to come up with the remaining $60,000, Smith contacted Rick Spencer, vice president for institutional advancement, to help meet the goal.

“Chris proposed to Rick a campaign that would leave a legacy, but still be something that students can immediately benefit from,” says Adrian Aldrich ’02, director of alumni relations.

The fitness center will contain elliptical trainers, treadmills, bicycles and weights and other assorted equipment. It will operate during the current hours of the building, 7 a.m. to midnight. The fitness room in Merner Field House will primarily house weight-training equipment and the current weight rooms in Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium will be converted to classrooms.

During the May liaison committee meeting with trustees, faculty and other key administrators, the discussion centered on making sure that students have a voice. For Aldrich, a former SGA president, the organization’s decision to proceed with these plans brings him great delight. “Given my experience as president for two years when I was a student, I’m proud of the students of SGA,” Aldrich says. “They identified an opportunity to benefit the North Central College family as a whole. Whether you’re an athlete or not, you’ll have access to this facility and have the chance to enjoy a well-rounded experience during your time here.”

The addition of the fitness center continues to promote the active and well-balanced lifestyle of the student body and demonstrates the importance of student voice—a foundation the College holds strong.

Editor's note: Susan Evangelou ’10, an English: journalism major, contributed this article.

North Central NOW Fall 2010