LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Student gives thanks to Rec Center for new additions

During the fall 2011 semester, I wrote a column addressing the locker shortage dilemma at the FIU Recreation Center, and how the amount of lockers did not suffice in securing the belongings of the thousands of students swiping cards at the Recreation Center daily.

Last week, fifty-seven new daily lockers stood ready for use in the front hall of the Recreation Center. Robert Frye, the director of Recreation Services, informed me that the idea to install additional lockers came about even before I addressed my concern.

“We saw a problem with people leaving their backpacks and other items on the floor and in the weight room. And we also had things that were stolen out of the gym like cell phones and wallets that were just sitting on the floor,” he said.

According to Frye, most of the thefts are opportunity thefts that mainly occur not in the weight room, but on the courts.

“In the gym it is different.” he states, “they are in a game and are concentrating on that. It only takes a second for someone to grab something and walk out.”

In order to fix this problem, daily use lockers are now available in a variety of sizes just outside of the men and women’s locker rooms. With an array of sizes offered, users can fill their lockers with anything from a cell phone or wallet, to a backpack or skateboard. The lockers also utilize a resettable combination lock system, where gym goers can create their own four digit combination without the hassle of the traditional lock. I am especially impressed by this system because in addition to keeping ten dollars from not having to purchase the lock, gym users save time and aggravation from struggling to remember their combinations when they are in a hurry or just forgetful. Just the other day I helped a student in the locker room figure out how to open a new lock. Let’s face it, we have all been there.

Additionally, the FIU community saves money by using these daily lockers because they are one-hundred percent free.

“A lot of schools have coin operated lockers, but we decided not to because we want to encourage people to use them,” said Frye. “If someone forgets their combination, we will charge two dollars to try and encourage them to remember their combination.”

Like the daily lockers located at the front section of the locker rooms, the new lockers will be cleaned out at the end of the night. Forgotten belongings will be kept at the Recreation Center for two days. If they are not claimed by then, the items will be sent off to the university lost and found.

Frye hopes that the installation of the new lockers will contribute to less clutter on the activity floor areas of the gym, but mainly prevent more thefts from occurring.

“We have been waiting for these for quite a while and hopefully people will take advantage of them. They are there for their protection of their property,” he said.

Now that the new lockers are up and running, I would like to express my gratitude to Frye and the rest of the Recreation Center staff who helped in making this innovation a reality.

Thank you for thinking of the FIU community and continuing to strive for our university to be “worlds ahead”.


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