RAISING THE BAR ON GYM SECURITY: Fitness center increases security after thefts

By Anthony Navarrete, Staff Writer

In preparation for the arrival of updated equipment, the fitness center has increased its surveillance and monitoring by installing a camera in the weight room.

Both Athletic Director Vic Trilli and Tennis Director Shella Augspurger have said that equipment has been known to go missing.

Prior to having the camera, Trilli said, there was no way to monitor who was going into the weight room and what was walking out.

Augspurger said that theft has been a problem for years and that a lot of the fitness center budget was going to replace missing equipment.

“I just feel like we were losing a lot of money by theft. The doors weren’t always locked, and it became a big issue. We just felt that the school was losing money,” Augspurger said.

New Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Stryder Blackburn agreed with Augspurger, and as one of his requests, he asked that a camera be installed in the weight room.

Some on the cheer and dance team said they were under the impression a camera was installed in the aerobics room as well, which the team had used as a changing room. Augspurger said no camera was installed there and that they kept cheer and dance in mind.

Augspurger said the camera was mostly installed for safety and security reasons rather than monitoring the weight room. If anything happens in the gym, she said, they could look back at the footage to see what happened.

Augspurger said that there were times when people would go into the weight room outside of operation hours, when neither the coaches or student workers were present and believes it was during those times that equipment left the facility.

Women’s golfer Ximena Name said that, as an international student without a car, the fitness center was often a place she would go to workout. But, on Saturday, she said, she arrived during the open gym hours and was not let in by the security because there was no student worker present. She said she was left with the impression that the hours had changed.

“I feel like if online it says that it’s going to be open on certain days at certain times, it should be open,” Name said.

Augspurger responded by saying instances where student workers don’t show up to their shifts are another thing cameras should help with. Unlike before, she said, they can know and hold workers accountable when they are late for shifts. Two tardies and the workers will be replaced, she said.

Augspurger said the fitness center is open for general use from 9 a.m to noon and from 5:30 p.m to 10 p.m. Saturday the facility is open from noon to 4 p.m and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

PHOTO: THE FITNESS CENTER has had a theft problem for years, says Tennis Director Shella Augspurger. Tyler Pollard, Staff Photographer