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MIT's athletic facilities need to be better managed

After spending four years at MIT and currently being a graduate student here, I would like to make some comments on the athletic facilities here at MIT. On the one hand, it is true that the annual budget of MIT's athletics department is one of the highest in the country, and that there is an incredibly wide selection of intramural clubs and varsity sports in which to participate. However, the actual operation of the facilities leaves much to be desired. Although there are other areas which also could be improved, I am referring specifically to Rockwell Cage.

Was it really necessary to close the cage for the entire day just to have physical education registration for two hours in the evening? And the cage has been closed for "work on the new floor" which ended up not getting done on the day the cage was closed. The lack of communication within the department is simply mind-boggling. The workers at the equipment desk know absolutely nothing about when Rockwell will or will not be open. After going to the gym for a regular weekly volleyball game Friday afternoon, we found a "closed" sign on the door to the cage. Naturally, when we were there two days earlier there was no hint that the cage would be closed any time in the near future. When I asked the desk worker why it was closed, he said he didn't know. When I asked him if it would be open tomorrow, he said he didn't know. His reply was, "The people upstairs only let us know on a day-to-day basis."

This is not the way to run an athletic facility used by hundreds of students -- students who are paying quite a bit of money to support the gym. As one of those students, I am getting sick and tired of not knowing when Rockwell will or will not be open until that same day, and of the attitude that the cage will be open whenever they feel like opening it. The gym is supported by, and exists for the use of, the students (and faculty, staff, and alumni to a lesser but still significant extent). It is not right that the gym staff should have such an indifferent attitude towards students, acting as if we have no right to expect the gym to be open every day, on a regular schedule, as any sports facility in the real world would be.

Mattthew Machlis G->