On Jan. 17, The Hoot conducted an interview with Mo Re Kim ’24, who spoke on upcoming renovations to the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center Weight Room.
Kim, a Strength And Conditioning intern and personal trainer with Brandeis, helped lead previous fitness center renovations centered around the Village Residence Hall Fitness Center. Now, he is working with Brandeis faculty and students to renovate the Gosman Weight Room.
He noted that the team plans to “essentially replace all the weight room equipment, including weighted plates, barbells and machines. I don’t believe we’re going to be replacing the dumbbells, but just about every rusted or broken machine that you guys have had or the people who’ve been using the Gosman gym have had issues with should be completely replaced.”
Kim said that the dumbbells won’t be replaced because the team considered them to be “a lower priority compared to the rest of the equipment, which are either broken, rusting or probably … 10, 20 years old.”
The Hoot also received quotes for the equipment and accessories that the team will be receiving from Matrix. This list includes but is not limited to an angled smith press, a dip/chin-up assist machine, a seated row machine, a preacher curl, a seated leg curl machine, a seated leg extension machine, a 45-degree leg press, an adjustable decline bench, a tricep extension machine, a prone leg curl machine, a hack squat machine, a back extension bench, a converging chest press machine, a shoulder press machine, a hip abductor machine, a hip adductor machine, a rear delt/pec fly machine, two flat benches with storage racks, an incline bench with a storage rack, six 20-kilogram olympic barbells, two 15-kilogram olympic barbells, 12 2.5-pound plates, 12 five-pound plates, 24 10-pound plates, 24 25-pound plates and 24 45-pound plates.
He added that the team is “currently … in the process of getting our purchases approved through Brandeis’ procurement department,” going on to say that “previously we were expecting [to receive the equipment] in late February or early March, but it looks like the timeline might be pushed back a little. I’d expect [to receive it] some time early April or late March at this pace. I know for a fact that at the very least, the equipment will be here before next semester for whoever’s not graduating.”
Kim also spoke about the process the team went through to obtain funding, noting that they did so through the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF). He saw that “many people have complained about the quality of the gym equipment, specifically the equipment in the weight [room], and I … worked with Joshua Feld [’22 M’22] previously to pick up the cardiovascular equipment, that’s how I was introduced to the fund.” That work with CEEF was to renovate “the Village gym and the reallocation of certain cardiovascular equipment. This time we wanted to go a little bit bigger. For this specifically, we knew that it would be a big project. We’d be replacing the entire weight room, which would require a lot of funding. So we prepared beforehand. Previously it was just me, Josh and Kat Page, the Fitness Coordinator. But this time around, I gathered a lot of like minded individuals. There’s 10 people working, and we even created a petition with over 700 signatures, which is, I believe, 15 to 20% of Brandeis’ entire population.”
Kim added that the team tried to “document just about everything. The application to get funding from CEEF is actually not as complicated as people think because it’s all out there. You can look at previous application forms, which just ask about which faculty members you’ve worked with, what you’re doing, what kind of funding you’re getting. Essentially [making] sure that you know what you want, how you’re gonna do it and that you have the support of a faculty member.” He noted that there are “other questions as well, but if you get those down, in my case, it was actually quite simple because it’s pretty clear-cut: the equipment is old, they’re breaking down and they’re safety hazards. We need to replace it and here’s three people who are a part of the faculty to give us advice regarding what equipment [we’ll need], how long it’s gonna take, [etc.]”
Kim also spoke about what may happen to the equipment that’s currently in Gosman, noting that “Matrix, the vendor company that we’re working with, has a trade-in policy as part of the contract that we’re currently [in], so we’re gonna be trading in the more usable equipment … for essentially newer equipment. In addition to that, we’re considering expanding or sending some of the other equipment to other parts of Gosman or [other parts of] campus so that more people have access in more spaces.” He cited the squash courts as an example, saying that they’re “used less relative to the weight room” so equipment like cable machines may be moved down there. He also said that East Quad is a candidate to receive some of this equipment, and that the majority of it will “likely be traded into Matrix, or expanded to other parts of campus or Gosman itself.”
Kim closed by encouraging other Brandeis students to apply for funding with CEEF. He called it “a very good way to make changes on campus if you’d like. If you see a problem, you can get the funding to fix it. It’s just a question of how … I highly suggest it.”