The competition for Stairmasters at the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) will be a little tougher next year.
The Kennedy School of Government's announcement last week that the $90 optional fee its students have had to pay to use the MAC in the past will be absorbed into the school tuition next fall, raising concerns among students on the possibility of the MAC's overcrowding.
The news of the change combined with Sunday's announcement at an Undergraduate Council meeting that $100,000 worth of new equipment was given to the MAC by an undisclosed donor has led to concerns that overcrowding
"If the new equipment replaces the old, then the overcrowding [at the MAC] will be worse," said Dara B. Olmstead '00. "If new machines are added, then the MAC might be able to accommodate more people."
Because students at the Kennedy School will now be required to pay for the MAC, some said that they may be more inclined to get their money's worth.
"I don't currently use the MAC, but I'd be more inclined to work out without the $90 fee," said Veronica C. Mobley, a first-year student at the Kennedy School.
With the fee absorption, the Kennedy School's annual payment to the MAC will also become much greater.
Joseph S. Nye, dean of the Kennedy School, who made the announcement about the fee incorporation, said that he hoped this move would give the Kennedy School a stronger voice in MAC-related issues.
The MAC is owned by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Students at the Kennedy School also expressed enthusiasm about the addition of new machines to the MAC.
Cynthia J. Hansel, a second-year student at the Kennedy School said she didn't use the MAC this year because of its inferior equipment.
Instead, she said she worked-out at a private club that charged $40 a month, but had better faculties available.
"If there was good equipment, I would have paid up to as much as a private club charged, because the MAC is so convenient," Hansel said. "I was only able to join the private club because I have a car."
However, undergraduates remain weary about the consequences of these changes.
"At certain peak hours, like from 3 to 6 p.m., it's crowded enough, especially the Stairmasters," said Misasha C. Suzuki '99. "Definitely more people will go where better equipment is."
Nye could not be reached for comment on the issue