The Well at Sacramento State has seen a significant increase in members from this time last year.
Jessica Roesemann, who has been at The Well since July 2010, a month before it opened, is the member services manager. She said so far this semester, The Well has had over 61,000 visits.
“In comparison from the first four weeks of school from last fall 2011 to this fall…we’ve seen a 10 percent increase in overall visits,” Roesemann said.
She said they have also seen a 4 percent increase in unique members for a total of 12,000 individual Sac State students coming through The Well this semester, which she said “is impressive.”
Because weekdays are significantly more attended, The Well’s average attendance is broken down from weekdays, Monday through Thursday, and weekends, Friday through Sunday. Both figures are up when compared with the window of the first four weeks of last fall.
The weekday attendance is now averaging more than 3,000 people per day, up 10 percent over last year at this time, while the weekend attendance reaches over 1,000 members each day, which is up 12 percent.
At this point a year ago, Roesemann said The Well had 18,250 members, and now it is at 20,460 members, a 12 percent increase.
“After 40 weeks, we have seen an increase in participation, attendance, our weekly averages and overall membership,” Roesemann said.
Roesemann said she thinks the increase has a lot to do with the fact that it is the third year of operation and more students are aware of The Well than ever before.
“When prospective students are coming to visit this campus they can come in for a tour,” Roesemann said. “When they come to campus for new student orientation or transfer orientation they get a chance to come see the building as well. So I think it’s just a lot more exposure.”
Roesemann said The Well has a pretty big social media presence with Facebook and Twitter that definitely helps them get a lot of new people during the summer and as school starts.
“We’ve just been able to develop all of our programs and services and better market those to the campus community,” Roesemann said.
Roesemann said right now the most popular fitness classes at The Well are Zumba, yoga, and hip-hop aerobics. As for equipment, basketballs are the most popular item checked out, followed by racquet ball equipment and then boxing gloves for the use of heavy bags they’ve just added that have proved to be extremely popular.
With the increase in membership, The Well has also had to deal with the problems of overcrowding.
Angela Chu, a junior math major, said one thing she has noticed is there are a lot of the underclassmen attending The Well in the evenings that are not really focused on working out, so she prefers going in the afternoon.
“It kind of gets in the way,” Chu said. “In the afternoon during lunch hour, it’s more people who are in and out, not hanging out in the evening together.”
Roesemann said she is aware space is a problem as some areas fill up faster during different times of day. She said she thinks even if all 30,000 students were members, they probably wouldn’t come at the same time.
“The cardio suite definitely gets more crowded,” Roesemann said. “We definitely get more crowded at certain times of the day. We are most popular at the afternoon and early evening time. That’s definitely when we’re most busy.”
One of the issues with The Well becoming more popular is the fact that open lockers can become more challenging to find.
“It’s definitely something that we’re aware of and we try to adjust,” Roesemann said. “We have installed more lockers throughout the building. So if someone doesn’t necessarily need to change, they’re just going to bring in their bag and leave their items locked up on the outside.”
Sarah Gwinn, a junior biology major, said she always gets a locker because she goes to The Well in the mornings between her classes, when it is not as busy.
“If you go like at night or later in the afternoon then it’s busy, but in the mornings it’s fine,” Gwinn said. “I know when I go later it’s a lot harder. But it’s not a big deal because I have a big break in between my first two classes. (You’ve) got to time it right.”
Roesemann said one of the issues that they addressed were students who need a place to lock up skateboards and scooters.
“We installed some skateboard lockers outside – that way the lockers can be dedicated to persons wanting to store their change of clothes to work out in. We’ve even installed some that are smaller,” Roesemann said. “So if you only bring your keys, your wallet and cell phone, you’re not taking up a whole locker. They’re pretty small and none of the lockers require a lock which is nice, too.”
Chu said she has a serious problem with the current locker situation on campus because she often comes in the afternoons and evenings when The Well is busier.
“They try to put these small lockers in the hallways and they don’t fit your backpack,” Chu said. “Then if you have your backpack in the treadmill area somebody walks over and yells at you about how ‘you can’t have it over there, you got to put it in a cubby.’ But then the cubbies aren’t locked, and then people can steal your stuff and it’s just all bad.”
Roesemann said The Well does take into account the feedback from students and tries to meet their requests.
“We do our best to work within the means of our space,” Roesemann said. ”We noticed that we got a lot of students requesting more free weights. So we’ve been able to order some more free weights and rearrange our equipment to expand that space.”
Roesemann said even with the increase in attendance they are prepared to meet the demand of welcoming even more students.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to reach all students so we haven’t gotten there yet,” Roesemann said. “I think we’re happy with the population that we’ve reached and that are coming to use the facility, however our goal is to reach nearly 100 percent of the student body.”
Sean Keister can be reached at [email protected]