On June 24, 2015, Xavier University of Louisiana unveiled its new Fitness Center. Located at the corner of Drexel Drive and South Clark Street — between the Living Learning Center and St. Martin Deporres Hall, this $3.6 million facility currently serves as a recreational facility and gym for over 200 students a day, and according to Silas Steele, Director of Recreational Sports, “It has changed the social and health atmosphere on campus for the better.”
Inside the Fitness Center
The first floor of the facility features an NCAA/NAIA regulation-sized basketball court, lounging area, information and sign-in office, and an area with free weights and weight machines. The second floor consists of a three-lane walking/running track, two cardio rooms, a spin studio and other “multi-functional studios,” Steele said.

Getting Bang for your Buck
In an interview with Steele, the Herald asked how the Fitness Center has served the students thus far.“The students love it! Student participation has really picked up, especially this semester, because folks realize it’s available to them anytime. They enjoy not having to wait until 9 p.m. anymore, and they can now rent out or schedule an area for practices, tournaments, and various activities,” Steele said. “I’ve seen a lot of new faces, and it seems the centralized location also works well for many students who used to have to travel across campus to the Convocation Center gym,”Steele said activities include intramural sports, yoga classes, faculty volleyball games, and inter-hall 5-on-5 basketball games, aerobic classes, XU Fitness, a new exercise program lead by volunteering Xavier students, and more.Steele also mentioned his plans to offer a larger variety of activities for the students. “A lot of the programs are run by volunteers, so we would like to bring in certified instructors to teach classes such as self-defense and pilates.

Over 200 students use the Fitness Center daily. Photo by Bianca Moore
Over 200 students use the Fitness Center daily. Photo by Bianca Moore

The Student Perspective
D.J. Onuaguluchi, third-year pharmacy school candidate, applauds Xavier for its new facility. “I really enjoy it, it’s an outlet for students to exercise and work out. I’m big on health, so this is really great,” Onuaguluchi said.“The Fitness Center is more than just a place to exercise. It gives us a place to hang out; it gives us a chance to spend time with our friends; and it allows us to become more social, while meeting new people,” Kyla Dees-Sullivan, junior English major, said.
Though students are pleased and excited about the new facility, they also offered some suggestions.“The Fitness Center should remain open during the holidays, and they should bring back certain classes such as Insanity and Zumba.” “They should bring back Zumba classes and XU After Dark,” Alethia Love, junior chemistry major said.

For the Fun of it All
The staff and directors of the Fitness Center expressed enthusiasm for this upcoming semester and all they have to offer.
“We do it for the fun of it, but more importantly, for the students,” Steele said. He is open to recommendations, and concerns can be emailed to the Office of Campus Recreational Sports at recsports@xula.edu, and the recreational sports website at xula.edu/crs

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