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Open gym policy changes due to security concerns

Abuse of privileges has caused a change of availability of the gym facility.

Traditionally, Eastern’s policy for use of the gym was that the main gym area was to be used for athletic team activities only. This included practices and events. The recreational gym was to be used for everyone else and was open 24 hours for this purpose.

According to head of security Jack Sheehan, the security department recently received complaints that a group of men were found using the main gym who were not recognized by the athletic department. Security looked into it and found out that these men were not Eastern students, faculty or staff. The men were asked to leave.

Since this time security has been making more frequent checks of the facility.

“If you play late at night, security comes by and asks if we go to Eastern,” sophomore Steve Ferguson said.

“[We have] evicted numbers of young people on several occasions that were not authorized to be here,” Sheehan said. Some of these persons have come back anyway.

At the time of the interview, the most recent eviction had been on February 8.

Junior Gary Provel has seen at least two or three groups using the gym without someone from Eastern present.

Sheehan believes that these young people are from the area and somehow got word, either from a prior legitimate visit or through word of mouth, that Eastern’s gym is open at any time to be used. This is not to happen.

As a result, the gym is not open 24 hours anymore, but is locked between the hours of one and seven a.m. Some students who use the gym facility regularly were not aware of this change.

“Some of us play after 1 [a.m.], so that is kind of a bummer,” Ferguson said.

According to Sheehan, Eastern students, faculty and staff must be able to identify themselves with their e-cards while using the gym facilities to avoid being asked to leave.

Non-Eastern students are still permitted to use the gym as guests of an Eastern student, faculty or staff member. However that student, faculty or staff must be present.

Bettie Ann Brigham, Vice President of Student Development sent out an email on January 26 in order to announce this change to the Eastern community.

The Athletic Department was not available for comment.

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