UMass Dartmouth: the pay-to-win app

By Staff Writer Eric Sousa.

It had been a few weeks since attended the campus gym. I needed to start feeling wholesome and healthy, so I could either start watching what I was eating, or I could pick up the barbells again. I have the willpower of a narcoleptic staying awake when it comes to resisting food, so the choice was simple; I had to get back into the gym.

We have a genuinely decent gym. I like the facility. Except for the fact that somebody hoards the ten pound weights like they might be collectibles, it’s never truly let me down.

The equipment is sound. The choice of music is a tad odd- I don’t want to meet the person who gets an adrenaline rush from Waterfalls by TLC- but it’s an otherwise pleasant experience.

However, today something unprecedented occurred. I forgot my pass at home. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal; they can look me up in the computer system. Like every other gym in the world is capable of.

They charged me a dollar for it. Or, more specifically, stated that I would pay a dollar for it next time. After all, they were, “doing me a favor,” by letting me go in without my pass. I have some thoughts on that.

I have been to several gyms in my life while starting and abandoning healthy habits. Not one of them has charged individuals for getting looked up in the system. Even Planet Fitness, which costs essentially a penny a day to be a member of, does not charge money to look somebody up. Even ritzy gyms that had racquetball courts-which is the unofficial sport of retired rich folk- did not practice this.

UMass Dartmouth’s gym does. Seeing as the membership is included with tuition, UMass Dartmouth is already likely to be the most expensive gym I ever attend. I would expect, at that cost, the weights to be coated in gold. I would expect live music to be playing instead of TLC’s Waterfalls. I would expect the water fountain to produce Perrier. I would expect a workout guru to whisper revelations about life into my ear as I broke personal records. That’s what this expensive of a gym should offer.

I don’t actually expect any of these things (maybe the Perrier), but I at least expect this gym to function similarly to ones in the wilderness. I’m aware that I signed the contract agreeing to this, but it wasn’t until it was put into practice that I realized how silly it was. It truly takes no work to look somebody up in a system. In fact, the fact that I have an UMass Dartmouth Student ID inherently means that I have a gym membership.

Maybe it was done to promote accountability. But maybe people lose their passes in the working world all the time too, but those gyms don’t try to function like a pay-to-win app to reprimand their clientele.

Last week, the ceiling for my lab in SENG opened up and deluged water inches from my backpack. Last week, I got to school at 12:40 and was late to my 1:00 due to no parking. Last week, they charged me extra money for the most expensive gym we’ll ever attend. And I thought I was funny.

UMass, I love you. But this is starting to feel like a relationship where you won’t fully hold up your end of the bargain. I don’t like being nickel and dimed at every turn. Should we get a dollar back whenever the heat doesn’t come on in the apartments? Should we get a dollar back whenever services doesn’t follow up on that broken dishwasher order from weeks ago? Should we get a dollar back whenever Res goes on a milk strike?

No, that would be silly. After all, we don’t need to function like a micro transaction app on an iPhone under the guise of teaching morals of inconvenience. Let’s be adults about this, or I’m publicly breaking up with you on Facebook.

PHOTO COURTESY: GYMTUTOR.COM

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