End of restrictions: Student Wellness Centre opens for all students

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: HANNAH THEODORE
After more than a month of enhanced restrictions, the Student Wellness Centre at Fanshawe College has reopened to all students, including those enrolled in fully online programs.

After more than a month of enhanced restrictions, the Student Wellness Centre at Fanshawe College has reopened to all students, including those enrolled in fully online programs. The new rules came into effect Feb. 17. However, students will still need to book their sessions ahead of time despite the lifting of capacity limits.

The Rock Wall will also reopen to all students, with different hours of operation than the gym. Meanwhile, the Golf Simulator began operating Feb. 23. To book a session or for more information about activities, visit studentwellnesscentre.ca.

The restriction period started on Jan. 5 in alignment with provincial measures to avoid the spread of the Omicron variant. These measures were from Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen with modifications announced by the Ont. government. Among the restrictions were social gathering limits of five people indoors and 10 people outdoors, and 50 per cent capacity limits at retail settings such as malls.

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All fitness, recreation, and gym facilities at Fanshawe were closed after the decision. But on Jan. 31, the centre was able to open at half capacity. Because of this, only blended students, varsity student-athletes, and students living in residence were allowed to use the facilities.

Students in fully online programs, like Italo Honorio, tried to play ping pong with another student during this period because he didn’t know about the rules.

“We pay a whole lot of money to have access to everything that the campus can offer us, and when I got there I wasn’t allowed to play. It doesn’t make sense, I [had] access to everything inside the campus but I was blocked the entrance to the recreation centre”.

In a statement, Fanshawe College explained that the decision to allow students who are already required to be on campus was to keep the Centre within capacity limits and reduce the number of students on campus. Virtual workouts and other digital wellness programming were available for students who could not be on campus.

“The College did not collect related ancillary fees from students studying fully online during the winter semester: Wellness Centre Universal (facility use and access), Athletics (on-site programming) and Wellness Centre Building (capital cost of the building),” the college said.

Despite some confusion, “wellness” fees paid by students through the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) are not used for the Wellness Centre itself, but rather for events and activities coordinated by the FSU.

“When the Ancillary Fee says ‘wellness programming’ it would be for an event like the ‘chill lounge’ or a mental health speaker or a trivia night, etc. There are many different events that can help with ‘wellness.’ The same goes for ‘recreational programming’ – our games nights, trivia nights, FUEL, etc. could all be classified as such,” according to a spokesperson for the FSU, Carol Balzer.

Membership

Student-athletes, full-time blended students and students living in residence have access to the Centre. Online students need to purchase it at the front desk of the Student Wellness Centre located in Building J. Visit studentwellnesscentre.ca/memberships to read more information.