YMCA Memberships Are A Good Option for Lincoln Center Students


It’s no secret that Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC) is smaller than Rose Hill in many ways, and that includes our gym—if it can even be called that. While the McMahon fitness center is still very useful, we can’t boast features like thousand-plus square foot studios or a swimming pool. McMahon even lacks the amenities of other city colleges, like Baruch and New York University(NYU), and so it’s not very surprising that FCLC would offer discounter YMCA memberships to compensate for their shortfalls.

(Kirstin Bunkley/The Observer)
(Kirstin Bunkley/The Observer)

For about $25 a semester, FCLC students can enjoy the facilities at the Upper West Side YMCA. This is no doubt a great deal, as an adult membership can cost around $95 a month. But is this the best solution FCLC can offer, and is it a fair compensation? While our fitness center has its merits, I think the YMCA is the best we can do right now, given the circumstances.

For one, the campus only has so much space. Anyone who’s been to both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses knows that we don’t have nearly as much room for new facilities. But the campuses are in drastically different landscapes. More comparable to Rose Hill is John Jay College, right around the corner. This City University of New York (CUNY) school has facilities including (but not limited to) a strength training room, a 25-yard pool and even an air rifle range.

Judging by this, it’s safe to say it is very possible to provide the same kind of amenities, just on a smaller scale, at FCLC as those at our Bronx counterpart. But, once again, the circumstance of space available is important. John Jay accommodates roughly 16,000 students. FCLC by contrast has less than 8,000 students and less than 1,000 residents. This is likely the major reason why our fitness space is so small compared to other Manhattan schools. Columbia University has nearly 30,000 students, NYU 50,000 and even Hunter College has just over 20,000. While we may all share the city landscape, the size and scope of our needs isn’t the same. Many of these schools also have several different dorm buildings to work with. An expansion of our fitness facilities can definitely come into play when the new dorms are finished, but is not possible with the space we have now.

And while it’s small, the Ram Fitness Center still offers a good space in which to workout. In the times I’ve been there, I’ve felt my needs were met in spite of the limited space, and I was still able to get a good workout. A few bikes and treadmills may not be much, but it’s enough for the needs of many students. There’s also the many classes offered in McMahon for fitness: yoga, Zumba and Insanity fitness, to name a few. Just because our fitness center is smaller, doesn’t mean it’s useless.

But the YMCA offers a great option to those for whom the Ram Fitness Center proves inadequate. Those who seek more can opt for the Y for a very reasonable price—and there’s also access to Rose Hill facilities.

While Lincoln Center may not offer as much as other Manhattan schools, it offers enough. LC is a small campus and only has so much space. A gym with the basics may seem paltry, but that neglects the addition of things like diverse classes and even the availability of McGinley. The University does its best, given its limits, to accommodate students with a love for fitness. I understand any potential frustration over not having things other schools have, like tennis courts or outdoor tracks. But I also understand that there is only so much that can be done at FCLC, given the limited space and the exorbitant real estate prices surrounding our campus, and that there are many opportunities still available for us as students—Ram Vans to Rose Hill and cheap YMCA memberships being some of them. It may not be perfect, but we’re not lost for accommodations.