While students pack up for the summer and head back home or go on vacation, DePaul students like Breanna Otto, sophomore, will be making an effort to commute to DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus and make the most use of The Ray Meyer Fitness Center, DePaul’s recreation center, for the summer.
Although Otto’s hour commute to what the DePaul community calls “The Ray” takes away from the convenience factor that most summer and on-campus students might have, Otto still finds it best to make full use of her university tuition which already includes gym memberships to the Ray for full-time DePaul students.
“With my internships, jobs, school homework and commute, I have very limited time during the academic school year to work out and focus on my health, but as things slow down for the summer, I will be pushing myself to hit the gym and improve my health,” Otto said.
This summer, many students may be going home but, according to Kristen Pengelly, assistant director of marketing for DePaul’s campus recreation, the Ray is never “empty” especially because many faculty members, students and community members “committed to their health” still stick around and make full use of all the variety of programs offered at the Ray over the summer.
Pengelly said that the Ray will be offering many programs this summer including boot camp, strength conditioning classes and one of the most popular summer camps for kids in Chicago known as Fred’s Camp that is partially spent at the Ray.
Pengelly also said that over the summer the Ray will be launching INSANITY workout classes which is max interval training where one is exercising at extreme intensity levels for short periods of time.
The Ray currently provides cardio and weight equipment, challenging group fitness classes and instructional programs like yoga and Pilates. The facility also includes racquetball courts, an indoor pool and a track.
“We believe our atmosphere is the best in the area as our student staff have great energy and are very customer-focused,” Pengelly said.
Besides the programs and facility feature, Nicole Garton, assistant director of club sports and special events at DePaul, believes that there are additional reasons students should stop into the Ray this summer.
“Maintaining healthy habits is a lifelong journey and consistent workouts are a key factor in staying healthy, taking a summer off from exercising would be detrimental to any progress made throughout the academic year,” Garton said.
Garton also added that the Ray will continue to be busy but there are more workout opportunities for students to try different workout machines. “The personal trainers and fitness floor staff will be able to offer more support to the people trying new workouts,” Garton said.
For better experiences at the Ray, Garton encourages DePaul community participation.
“In the past, summer programs have lacked participation. But if a group of students would really like to see something offered, they can reach out and we will do our best to accommodate their request,” Garton said.
Pengelly believes that the Ray offers more to its students than many other gyms might.
“The Ray is the best value for students. Other gyms might require an initiation fee or contract, but our summer membership is set up to hold students over until fall access kicks in,” Pengelly said.
Summer memberships cost $41 are good starting June 9 through Sept. 16 and memberships will not be prorated.
The Ray currently offers a variety of memberships in addition to regular full-time undergraduate tuition. The Ray offers memberships available to part-time, law, and graduate students as well as faculty, staff, alumni, visiting student memberships and other community members are also welcomed at the Ray.
Pengelly also said that spring/summer 2015 graduates can purchase their summer membership rate after graduation but after it’s up, they are eligible for the Recent Alumni rate.
“Graduates are welcomed forever as members to receive an amazing membership rate,” Pengelly said.
Starting June 13, the Ray will transition to their summer hours in which Monday through Friday they will begin to close earlier at 10 p.m.
Pengelly and Garton also advise to stay in touch with the Ray over the summer for any closings.
Towards the end of summer, the Ray will undergo basic maintenance such as deep clean on all equipment and they will be bringing some new pieces onto the fitness floor in which the Ray will be closed Aug. 26 through Aug. 28.
“The Ray is 16 years old and still looks pretty great,” Garton said.