Students Begin Using the Renovated Ram Fit Center

Upon returning from winter break, Fordham adjusted its COVID-19 protocols due to the level of infections in New York City and across the country. One of these precautions was the closure of all campus fitness centers until Jan. 31. The implementation immediately faced pushback from students, including a petition which harnessed 750 signatures. Despite students’ dissatisfaction with the closure, Fordham did not reconsider its decision to close the gym.

Nearly two weeks after students’ return from winter break, on Jan. 28, the McGinley Ram Fit Center reopened. The first floor of the new campus center was also open to students. With the reopening of the Ram Fit Center, students assumed that the new building’s fitness center would also be open. However, the new Ram Fit Center remained closed due to the pending final permits.

Carley Walker, FCRH ’25, understands the logistics behind the continued closure of the new fitness center, “I was a little surprised the new addition to Ram Fit wasn’t open, but I understand why. I had a feeling Fordham would want to open everything up slowly, especially with the rising omicron COVID-19 cases. I know that Fordham and Public Safety was doing what they thought would be best for students to mitigate COVID-19 cases as we get situated back on campus,” said Walker.

Anticipation rose as students wondered when the new Ram Fit Center would open. After nearly two years since the beginning of its construction, the new Ram Fit Center opened its doors to Fordham students on Feb. 2.


Student are beginning to use the new Ram Fit Gym in the McGinley Student Center. (Courtesy of Nick DeSilva/ The Fordham Ram)

The new Ram Fit Center is 20,000 square feet. Through new additions, Fordham Athletics gained 16,000 square feet of space, 10,000 of which will be dedicated to a new conditioning center. The rest of the space will be dedicated to office spaces, meeting spaces and places for student athletes to recharge. Students were able to get a sneak preview of the gym back in December when Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, led students in a blessing of the new campus center.

Walker was one of the students who attended the blessing: “I visited the gym before winter break. I thought the gym looked really nice with a lot of clean new equipment. My friends and I noticed the TVs were playing ‘Breaking Dawn – Part One’ throughout the gym, which was pretty funny. With the new gym opening up, I think it’ll encourage all students to workout and be more active because of the ambiance in the gym.”
For students who did not attend the early visit, this past week was their first time inside the new Ram Fit Center.

In order to workout in the Ram Fit Center, students are required to make a reservation for a one and a half-hour session on the IMLeagues app. Reservations open an hour in advance and slots are limited. With the recent opening of the new Ram Fit Center, the number of available slots has increased from 50 students to 100. However, with all 100 slots filling within minutes, reservations remain difficult to obtain due to the popularity of the new Ram Fit Center. Students can no longer choose to go to the gym whenever they want and instead have to anticipate the opening of reservations, refreshing the IMLeagues app the minute reservations become available in hopes of claiming a slot.

Maggie Sheridan, FCRH ’25, commented on the COVID-19 precautions and the gym’s required reservations, “I appreciate the school taking the steps to clean the gym and reducing capacity in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, slots go so fast that if [registration] opens while I’m in class, by the time I get out it will be full and then I am unable to go to the gym and exercise. For me, exercise is a great way to help me relax after being in class all day.”

Once the hour and a half is over, students must promptly leave the facility and wipe down any equipment they used. The strict enforcement of time limits allows staff to sanitize equipment before the next time slot. Additionally, face mask usage will continue to be strictly enforced. According to an email from the Athletics Department, “those who do not comply with keeping a mask on that covers your nose and mouth during your workout will be asked to leave the facility for the day. Those who continue to disregard this policy will lose privileges for the semester.”

Fitness classes will also resume on Feb. 7. Available classes include kickboxing, yoga, spin and a new body weight training class.

After much anticipation, the grand opening of the new Ram Fit Center has prompted students to flock to the new gym. There is no doubt that the new Ram Fit Center will be enjoyed by Fordham students for years to come.