OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Frequently Asked Questions

Access & Membership

Who can use the facility?

Members of the OSU community who have an issued University ID Card – OSU students paying incidental fees have immediate access.  Faculty, staff, and others who are supportive of the university enterprise, their significant others, dependents and a limited number of OSU Alumni who are Alumni Association members may all purchase a membership.  In short, all users much have an OSU ID card issued through the University ID Center. In addition, a member can sponsor in a guest for drop-in. To verify whether you qualify for membership or not, see our membership page.

Why isn’t the general public eligible for membership to Dixon?

For several reasons: Firstly, the facility can become very crowded at times and we wish to provide access for the OSU community. Secondly, there are a number of Fitness Clubs in the community and we do not want to create an unfair condition or competition for their operations.

Use & Operations

Could you add more mats areas for stretching? How about down the north end of the first floor hallway or is that a safety issue due to the exit area?

We are adding additional stretching mats on the second level overlooking the lower gymnasium [east end] where we are installing about 10 pieces of cardio equipment. Look for it by the beginning of Fall Term of 2011. You may also find stretching mats on the entry to the indoor track on the third level of the building. You are correct about the exiting issues in the north hallway - this is a safety concern in which the Fire Marshall frequently monitors. We are required to keep all egresses open for traffic which limits where we can place mats, equipment, etc.

Why must I shower before entering the pool or hot tub?

Showering rinses off any body sweat and inorganic materials on the body from daily activities.  While the pools have chlorine, chlorine does not work immediately nor does it dissipate the inorganic materials that it combats.  Body Ammonias (which come from sweat, deodorant, perfumes, colognes, anti-per spirant etc.) combine with chlorine to form a gas called chloramines.  This gas is what gives the pool its chlorine “smell”.  The more chloramines that the water has, the less effective the chlorine will be and the more potent the chlorine “smell” will seem to be.  Showering prior to using the pool also helps to keep our filters clean which results in cleaner water for a longer period of time. Last but of course not least, showering is mandated by the state health codes before someone is allowed to enter into a pool.

Why does Dixon have extended closures during the year such as the two weeks in August and Memorial Day Weekend?

Good news. Upon completing our annual review of operational hours, we have made the following changes: Dixon will be open over holiday periods including the Memorial Day weekend. At most, we will have a number of two-day closures throughout the year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Labor Day and Independence Day [some of these will vary due to the day of the week the holiday falls]. Some of these closures are dictated by university holiday schedule. In total we have added over 40 hours to our operations schedule. In addition, McAlexander Fieldhouse will be open when Dixon is closed during the late August Maintenance Shutdown. The newly renovated facility has a variety of cardio and weight training equipment for your use, two basketball courts that can also accommodate badminton and volleyball, synthetic turf, a new climbing wall, and restrooms.

Concerning the two-week closure, we have found that concentrating the entire building maintenance schedule into this timeframe is the most efficient way to care for the building and keep activity area closures to a minimum.  For example, it takes over a week to move weight equipment and complete a deep cleaning of the Weight Room floors, another week to conduct a thorough repair and cleaning of all cardio and weight equipment, more than one week to reseal/refinish over 45,000 square feet of wood floors, and 4-5 days to make the necessary repairs to the locker rooms. Much of this work is performed by the same trained maintenance staff. The week before and the week after the August closure are the lowest used weeks of the year.

When are the best times to lap swim?

The best times to lap swim and avoid crowded conditions are in the later morning hours 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM and in the later afternoon hours between 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  If you wish to find other more serious lap swimmers to partner with for a workout, then the hour’s best for that are between 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Must I reserve an MP room in order to use it? Or can I drop in and use one?

You can do either.  If the room is open, you are welcome to use it.  If you would like to reserve a time for your activity and would like to ensure it is available for your use, you would need to reserve it by calling up to 48 hours in advance and reserving the space.  You can only reserve the space for up to one hour.

Can I bring my own lock for use in the locker room? Where do I go to rent out a locker for the term?

Yes, as long as the lock is taken off each night. We do not allow locks to be on day-use lockers for more than one day, so all locks must be taken off daily. You can rent a locker at the Rec. Services desk located near the west entry of Dixon Recreation Center. We offer both box lockers and half lockers for rental.  

Why am I being charged for a piece of equipment?

If the equipment is not returned to the equipment issue area or is returned damaged, participants will be charged for the equipment.  This is done to ensure equipment is being used in the appropriate way and that there is always quality equipment available for others.

Why can’t I bring dumbbells or weights into the MP rooms?

Weights often cause damage to surfaces outside of the weight rooms.  Weights are also centrally located for all participants to use.

Why don’t you play different music stations?

Here at RecSports, we appreciate the diversity of members that utilize our facilities. Unfortunately, no matter what kind of music is played, there are some people that are dissatisfied with the music. We try to play the music that the majority of people will be happy with. The music is intended to be more of a background noise for members when working out. We have tried changing stations before, and this resulted in more complaints than with the current station. We also have installed holders on some of the equipment in the cardio rooms to hold music players for members who would like to listen to their own music.

Why can’t we do Olympic lifting at Dixon when we may have some prior experience?

Due to the lack of equipment and small space at Dixon, any explosive or Olympic lifts are not permitted in the facilities. Also for safety and liability reasons, we do not allow these movements, as they require specific technical skill. Unfortunately, there are not any locations on campus that allow these lifts. We apologize for the inconveniences caused by this. If you have any questions concerning the issue, our Interim Exercise Specialist Coordinator, Jason Yoder, would be happy to answer them at jason.yoder@oregonstate.edu.

Can you add more fans and air conditioning to the Cardio Room?

The cardio room has air conditioning that is always turned on. However, during busy hours, the room becomes hotter due to the larger amount of exercising people. This is a factor that depends on the number of students in the room at a given time. Using the cardio room during a less busy time, or using one of the more empty cardio rooms (there are three) may help you enjoy a cooler work out.

Facilities

The running surface at Student Legacy Park is nice, but when is there going to be a regulation track on campus?

Athletics is planning on building a competitive track and field complex east of Lorenz Field [soccer] and Ropes Field [softball] at SW15 St. and HW 34 [Philomath Boulevard]. A Ground Breaking ceremony was held in June 2011 and it is anticipated construction will start at any time. It is hoped the facility will be ready by next spring’s Track season.

Black particles from the new fields are appearing more frequently on the locker room floor.  Could you ask users to check their shoes before going directly into the locker rooms?

We are aware of the potential of rubber particles coming into the building and we are managing that through our custodial staff. Although it may appear to be an easy request to ask users to check their shoes upon entry, with over 800,000 entries into the building, stopping individuals and engaging in a request is problematic for our student employees and will slow up participants from accessing the building. The amount of rubber particles at this point does not have an adverse effect on the building.

What about the problem with some users leaving water on the locker room floors in front of the lockers? Can you do something about it?

This is a very difficult issue for us. We have posted signs near the showers and at the entry to and from the swimming pools requesting that people dry off before entering into the locker room changing areas. The vast majority of participates follow that request however there is a small number of individuals who don’t understand the issue or simply don’t follow acceptable behavior. We will try changing the signage from time to time, make requests of individuals when possible, and our student employee will monitor the space to the best of their ability. We are also currently investigating cleaning equipment we can easily use in the locker rooms to pick up water.

Can you get the floors in the activity rooms cleaned more often? Sometimes they are dirty for my yoga class.

The floors in the facility are cleaned twice each day by our custodial staff and sometimes by our student employee staff when they are available for extra cleaning. One of the problems you may be experiencing is the scheduling of back-to-back-to-back classes and your class maybe the last of the day. In some multipurpose rooms, classes are booked continually over a four or even a five/six hour block and the floors may accumulate dirt by the end of the evening.

Can the clocks in Dixon be synchronized so they all have the same time?

Due to cost, we used battery operated wall clocks which require a manual adjustment. We reset the clocks three times a year: during our August maintenance closure, and at each of the times changes in spring and fall. We do periodic resetting when time is significantly off and the clocks are easily accessible. With over 30 clocks in the building and some being placed in high elevations, it is difficult and costly to reset clocks on a more regular schedule. In our efforts to address facility safety and care, resetting clocks more frequently is not a priority. We suggest individuals check their phones, watches, or ask building staff to verify the time.

Could book or magazine holders be added to more exercise equipment?

Most manufacturers of fitness equipment incorporate holders into their equipment [treadmills are an exception]. Unfortunately, these holders are poorly design and easily break. In most cases, to replace the holders the entire control panel must be removed, disassembled, new holder installed, control panel reassembled, then placed back onto the equipment. We install new holders on a once a term schedule if not sooner. We have requested the manufacturers to design better holders but to date we have seen little improvements. There are universal magazine holders available for check out from Equipment Issue that works on almost all of our equipment.