SUNY Oswego fitness centers offering free gym membership

Oswego County, N.Y. –The athletic staff at SUNY Oswego are hoping that free gym memberships can lift the spirits of students. The director of campus recreation and fitness Brian Wallace said that the gym membership fee for Oswego students is being waived this spring.

SUNY Oswego has two fitness centers on-campus, Cooper and Glimmerglass. During a typical semester students would pay $65 to use either of the gyms. Now, any student can walk into the gym, swipe their Oswego ID card, and jump into their workout.

This free membership only applies to the current spring semester, at least for now. 

“We are pretty excited about it and I think more excited about maybe building this towards the future as this is the norm,” Wallace said.  

He adds that this free fitness center initiative is aimed at improving the physical and mental well-being of the students. Wallace explains that there are numerous studies that demonstrate how physical activity can boost the mood of stressed students. 

“Exercise is a solution for stress management, lowering anxiety levels, improving mood, and that research is pretty well established,” Wallace said. “Students here are looking for these outlets and the problem we have always had is that not everybody has an equal fair access to this wonderful outlet.” 

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Mental Health and Wellness committee provided the grant to make this initiative possible. This committee is also working on additional initiatives that would enhance indoor and outdoor spaces for students. Some goals are to create a meditation room, prayer room and provide additional training to staff.

According to Wallace, these discussions have arisen from the fact that fitness center membership has significantly declined in recent years. The staff hopes that waiving fees will encourage students to get more involved in campus recreation. The free gym access also includes group classes, and personal training. 

Those who already paid for spring 2022 gym memberships will be fully refunded. Anyone with questions regarding their refund or their membership are encouraged to email fitness@oswego.edu.