Please let me swipe into Linsey, and other Gosman qualms

September 20, 2019

As the president of the Ballet Club and a previous member of Adagio Dance Company, I have spent many, many hours in the Linsey building of Gosman. For those unfamiliar with the gym, Linsey is the small building to the left of the main Gosman complex, which houses the pool. It also holds four multipurpose rooms, which are used by many different clubs on campus, including the Ballet Club for our dance rehearsals. Unfortunately, the one and only way to get to Linsey is by swiping into the main entrance of Gosman, trekking down the hall and through the small basketball court, hiking up a flight of stairs and walking through a glass hallway until you have finally made it.

The amount of balls I have been hit with while going about this treacherous journey is infinite—soccer balls, basketballs, volleyballs and more that I can’t remember. I’ve been yelled at by students and professional referees alike that I’ve interrupted games and sets, messed up someone’s shot, and generally interrupted the flow of the happenings on the basketball court. And you know what? They’re completely right. Wouldn’t it be so much easier for me to just enter through the Linsey doors? Oh wait, that’s right. I’m not allowed to. What is the point of having the swipe machine both on the outside of the Linsey entrance and on the desk right inside the Linsey lobby if I can’t use it? 

I have been told that only those on the swimming and diving team are allowed to use their student IDs to swipe into Linsey, which I personally feel is unfair and unnecessary. I have been physically harmed and also publicly embarrassed almost every time I have to pass through Gosman to get to Linsey, which is about five times a week, when I could easily just swipe into Linsey and end up exactly where I need to be without bothering anyone else’s time or game. And it isn’t any less safe to swipe into Linsey than using the swipe machine in the Gosman lobby. I’m not saying the door should be open for anyone and everyone, but anyone at Brandeis with a student ID should be able to use the facilities in Gosman safely.

Additionally, all dance groups on campus know the struggles of finding and booking a rehearsal space. The most coveted studios include the Gosman Dance Studio, which is often booked by fitness classes, and Linsey Multipurpose Rooms (MPR) one and two. Until, of course, last year when Linsey MPR two was unexpectedly and permanently closed and transformed into a “human performance lab,” leaving student groups the smaller Linsey MPR one, which had stationary bikes all of last year (I was happy to see the room empty for our first rehearsal this semester). What is the lab being used for? No one knows. But that big, beautiful mirrored room is closed to the public for reasons unknown.

And while I’m on the topic of Gosman itself, I’d just like to make a comment on the weight room (ballerinas can do much more than just pirouettes and cardio, you know, but that’s a topic for a different opinion piece.) Of course, the general weight room open to non-varsity athletes is not as well kept or as stocked as the varsity weight room. I can live with that—there is always something for me to do there, even if it is a little bit run down or noisy, and the air conditioning is very much appreciated. However, when I see varsity athletes using my creaky leg press and cable machines, I can’t help but be a little bit confused. Don’t they have a beautiful weight room of their own? Wouldn’t they much rather be there instead of in the general weight room, which is always crowded? Can’t us NARPs (Non-Athletic-Regular-People, for those who don’t know—I didn’t until a week ago) have a space just to ourselves? Is nothing sacred!?

Gosman is a building that I’ve spent countless hours in. There are activities for anyone and everyone there, and working toward a healthy and active lifestyle is something I am very passionate about. I am grateful to have a space in Linsey with rehearsal rooms, mirrors and speakers that make it the perfect place for dance groups to rehearse. That being said, allowing student dancers and all other Brandeis students and community members to swipe into Linsey instead of passing through the entirety of Gosman for their rehearsals and meetings would be beneficial for both them and for athletes in the building. It would avoid injury and humiliation. Despite this, I still will face this risk multiple times a week in order to rehearse for The Nutcracker (Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 in the SCC Theater, wink wink hint hint.)

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