Moorpark College’s Fitness Specialist Internship seeks to expand gym access

The+weight+room+in+the+Moorpark+College+gym+is+open+to+faculty+members+and+students+in+strength+and+conditioning+classes.+ASMC+is+currently+considering+enrolled+student+access+to+the+weight+room+once+renovations+are+complete.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Moorpark College’s Fitness Specialist Internship seeks to expand gym access

The weight room in the Moorpark College gym is open to faculty members and students in strength and conditioning classes. ASMC is currently considering enrolled student access to the weight room once renovations are complete. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The weight room in the Moorpark College gym is open to faculty members and students in strength and conditioning classes. ASMC is currently considering enrolled student access to the weight room once renovations are complete. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The weight room in the Moorpark College gym is open to faculty members and students in strength and conditioning classes. ASMC is currently considering enrolled student access to the weight room once renovations are complete. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The weight room in the Moorpark College gym is open to faculty members and students in strength and conditioning classes. ASMC is currently considering enrolled student access to the weight room once renovations are complete. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Danitza Romero

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Moorpark College’s “Fitness Specialist Internship” offers free personal training to faculty and staff as a hands-on experience for the kinesiology students, but it has triggered a new motion for Associated Students of Moorpark College (ASMC) to consider gym accessibility to all students.

Jeff Kreil, lead faculty in the Exercise Science and Fitness Specialist Program, started the internship program in the spring of 2011 and it has continued to gain appreciation throughout the semesters. It has been a key program on campus, preparing students for real-life experience working in a gym.

“The value that [the interns] get from it really is comfort with what they would be expected to do if they were hired at a facility,” Kreil said. “This is a chance for [the interns] to try things and fail and to get out of [their] comfort zone.”

Joelle Hannah, adjunct faculty in the English department, had nothing but amazing reviews as she has used the personal training sessions since it first started. She admits having taken a few breaks in-between semesters due to her attachment to her student-trainer.

“In part because I get so connected and I grow a strong attachment, maybe not for them but maybe for me it’s like “you’re everything”, Hannah said as she described her trainer from previous semesters.

Since the trainers are students interning for the semester, they don’t always continue into the next semester. Hannah understands that each individual trainer is different and bring their own strengths to the program. Hannah specialized her fitness routine this semester and appreciates how focused her personal trainer has been on helping her meet her fitness goals.

“My goal this time around is to really know the movements and know the exercises and take myself to the gym and not feel so intimidated,” Hannah said as she trained with one of the student interns.

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Professor Joelle Hannah stretches out on a foam roller as Personal Trainer Javier Valdovinos talks about their upcoming workout I the Moorpark College gym on Tuesday morning, March 19. Valdovinos attends Moorpark while instructing faculty in personal training sessions in the morning. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The gym is accessible to faculty and staff who are using the personal training sessions this semester.

“It’s very convenient for me and that it’s free doesn’t hurt,” Hannah said.

Former intern Crystal Cassese, a Moorpark College fitness specialist, has been involved with the program for the past four semesters. Cassese is now teaching the interns and hopes the program expands in the future, allowing students to use the gym facility.

“My big vision for this program is that it does essentially become a self-sufficient gym,” Cassese said. “Where students are interns at an actual gym facility that is here on campus, that it isn’t something that is open to faculty and staff [only].”

Fellow Kinesiology student and ASMC Vice President Shida Delgosha understands how students feel about the lack of gym access on campus. There is talk and hope in the future that the current constraint will be lifted once the gym renovations are done.

“It’s a project we have brought up to Jeff before and he mentioned how he wanted his students maybe monitoring the [gym access],” Delgosha said.

There are many factors to consider once the gym is accessible to students. One is the liability and second is the funding to support the community gym used at Moorpark. Moorpark College is debating how student IDs are distributed to students, possibly allowing them to access the gym through payment.

“It’s been discussed how [students] pay for student IDs,” Delgosha said, “We might make it completely free. Everyone gets a student ID but you have to pay this fee to get a membership. And it’s the ASMC membership, where you get all these extra benefits and maybe the gym membership would be included into those benefits.”

There is no definite conclusion on whether this will be the result for students to have gym access, but the discussion continues. ASMC is hopeful that the project will be finalized once the new gym opens and the new ASMC leadership is in office for the next school year.

“The hope is that we have a new facility and we’re going to have a new funding source,” Kreil said. “We are actually going to be able to have more hours of operation and get more student engagement with the interns and assist more.”

Gym renovations are on track and should be completed by Fall of 2019.

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The Moorpark College gym, located at the south side on campus, is currently under renovation, causing entrances to be rerouted. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

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