The ARC Needs to Shape Up

As a frequent gym-goer, I appreciate UCI’s enormous complex of exercise equipment for my muscle-building needs. With that being said, I’d like to bring some matters to attention. First of all, the handprint scanners have to go. Yes we get it, it’s futuristic and cool, but this isn’t 1982 and I think we humans ought to be secure enough with our current level of technology and just accept the simple process of entering a pin number. The handprint scanner never quite works right and always makes you place your hand a second time and then annoyingly wait for it to let you in.

And another thing, those buttons are unacceptably difficult to push. As they practically stab your fingertips, their abuse seems almost deliberate. It just seems like they’re somehow mad at you as they practically stab your fingertips with their needless sharpness. As for the snack bar, a cashier once charged me sixty-one dollars for a bottle of water by mistake, then proceeded to take about five whole minutes of my time to rectify her catastrophic error.

On the occasions in which the bar was closed, I was redirected to the vending machines, which were, of course, stacked with nothing but the most ruinous junk food. The tempting offering seems all too ironic for a place designed specifically to facilitate good health. How about adding some power bars next to those Doritos? And at the very least they should offer Gatorade as a healthy alternative to the fruit juice calorie bombs. Another pressing irritation is the snack bar’s arbitrary closing on weekends. All I want is a power bar to get me energized and, of all the weapons of mass destruction for your gut they could fit into the vending machines, those didn’t make the cut.

Speaking of vending machines, the receptionists ought to be allowed to give change when you have nothing smaller than a twenty. I cannot explain how irritating it is when you’re practically drowning in sweat from a two-hour workout on a weekend when the bar is closed, and the only thing keeping you from a sweet, aquatic refreshment is another arbitrary and obstructive little regulation. That brings me to another point; the water fountains are entirely useless. The rate at which their water flows out is almost mocking, as if they enjoy your mummy-like state of dehydration. The flat-screen televisions hanging from the ceiling and the walls make for a great distraction when you’re pumping your circulation on the treadmill, but why must we suffer through the agonizing tease of reading subtitles that move slower than Paris Hilton on the GRE? As I recall, the YMCA gyms have built-in television screens with headphone jacks, and they sometimes even provide the headphones.

Would that be so reasonable an alternative than to have those useless, hanging decorations? The positioning of the television sets raises yet another issue: being exposed to whatever happens to be on. The other day I was on the treadmill, in which case my straight-staring head was helpless to whatever happened to come on TV., and to my shock, I saw a scene in which a woman was applying peanut butter to a naked, middle-aged man’s genitals and calling the dog to lick it!

I assume that if any offense were to outweigh all others, this would be it. Can we all agree on the inappropriateness of exposing unsuspecting gym-goers to such trash? You shouldn’t have to turn your head and make an effort to avoid being disgusted by whatever low brow drivel hits the airwaves. An employee should have taken it upon him or herself to turn it off.

Lastly, the unavailability of towels is a needless frustration. Whatever is being done to renovate the laundry room couldn’t possibly be so drastic as to eliminate the gym’s towel-dispensing services. Having a towel to free yourself of pungent sweat ranks somewhere in the range of constitutional rights as far as gym-goers know. If you don’t believe me, take a look at workout acne.

Tom Baudin is a third-year political science major. He can be reached at