Campus life during pandemic: Masks and distancing help keep Klotsche open

Wearing a mask at the grocery store has become our new normal, but exercising in one can be a different story. Still, students visiting UWM’s Klotsche Center have adapted to the change.

“I can’t complain about wearing a mask because that’s how they’re able to keep the Klotsche open,” said Cassidy Welch, a first-year graduate student who also attended UWM for her bachelor’s degree.

In addition to wearing a mask, exercise equipment has been spaced out to properly distance visitors. Some machines have been brought out onto the basketball court, since intramural team sports are not offered this year. The Klotsche Center staff has placed hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies near the equipment for guests to sanitize the machines before and after use.

Unlike past years, the Klotsche Center is not offering intramural team sports like volleyball, soccer and basketball this semester. However, students can still participate in intramural competitions where contact between players is limited, like pickleball, single-person bowling and tennis singles, according to UWM’s University Recreation website. Guests can also still utilize the pool, where swimmers are limited to one person per lane.

“I enjoy having more room to work out,” Welch said. She visits the gym three to four times a week to use machines that she does not have access to at home.

“I’ve been going to the gym for the past three years at UWM, and it’s part of my routine now. Especially with my classes being online, it’s nice to have some semblance of a normal routine by being able to go to the gym still.”

She’s not the only one. Sophomore Nick White works as an attendant in the weight and cardio rooms. He said that oftentimes the weight room hits its capacity of 40 people. Guests then must wait in line six feet apart outside the door.

He said he is not surprised by the amount of people at the gym. Most people, he said, just need to get out of the house or be active.

“I’d do it too,” White said.

Welch said she likes the setup more now than she did in previous years.

“It used to be too chaotic and crowded, but now it’s much calmer. I’m so glad it’s open because I think people are going to need little things like going to the gym so they can get out of the house.”

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