By James Lancy
Live Wire Assistant Editor

The front desk of the Fitness Center located in the Student Activities Center. Photo Courtesy by James Lancy.

The decrease in funds to operate the campus has placed many programs under fire and the Fitness Center at Manchester Community College is one of them.

In an effort to compensate for the $1.5 million deficit, President Gena Glickman said at an Open Forum for students Tuesday in the Fireside Commons that she has to carefully consider which programs to discontinue in order to make up for the projected deficit. Last month Glickman announced the Surgical Technology program will no longer accept new students and other possible cuts include the child care center, used by many students, faculty and staff, and the Fitness Center.

But several student interns of the Fitness Center are being proactive. At Tuesday’s forum they presented a petition with 314 signatures to the president in an effort to save the program they claim changed their lives for the better.

“I’ve seen down and out students become amazing success stories,” said Timothy Taylor, a part time worker of the Fitness Center and alumni of MCC.

Taylor spoke of students with violent pasts change for the better before his eyes thanks to the programs offered at the Fitness Center. Other students spoke of the center’s convenience and price – it is free for students – as a benefit.

“Fitness has been a part of my life,” said Jordan Bastien, an MCC student on his way to the center for a workout. Bastien said he has been attending MCC for one semester. “I think it’s completely ridiculous [that the program is in danger], I can’t see how they cannot afford this.”

At Tuesday’s forum several attendees agreed that having a fitness center on campus not only made access to fitness equipment easier, since many students rely on public transportation, they have also been able effectively maintain their health and wellness by lowering stress levels and losing weight.

Glickman thanked the students for the petition, but made no promises.

Taylor said many of the students who signed their names on the petition would rather pay for access to the center once more than to see the program close.

A second student forum will be held Tuesday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in the Fireside Commons in the back of the Library.