The Lyon Center, USC’s main gym for students, has become burdened with a growing number of broken machines — treadmills, ellipticals and StairMasters — inconveniencing gym patrons during their workouts, students said.
When the Daily Trojan walked through the Lyon Center earlier this week, on the first floor of the Lyon Center four of the nine treadmills and one of the three StairMasters were out of order. In addition, six out of 13 televisions attached to the ellipticals did not function properly.
On the second floor, none of the StairMasters turned on. Thirteen or more televisions on 28 ellipticals didn’t work. Four treadmills had out-of-order signs.
In all, technical problems currently affect approximately one-third of the fitness machines at the Lyon Center as of Monday. This makes it difficult to find and exercise on a fitness machine at times, students said.
“There’s more waiting time. We’re all pressed for time,” said Christine Vaughn, a senior majoring in business administration. “I feel like the machines aren’t consistently fixed. I mean, they fix some and then another set breaks down.”
Some students also said broken machines have always been a problem at the Lyon Center.
“It’s gotten a little bit worse recently, especially with the TVs being broken on the machines,” said Michelle Gossman, a senior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention. “I don’t really know what they do to fix the problem, but it always seems to be a problem.”
Derek Lim, a freshman majoring in electrical engineering, said there were times when he simply couldn’t work out or had to find an alternative to the Lyon Center.
“It throws off the rhythm [of my workout],” he said.
Yet, according to Arvin Varma, assistant director of recreational sports, Lyon Center staff members say they have been responding to student complaints and problems.
“I think it’s under control,” Varma said. “You would not find more than two or three machines down.”
With a user base of more than 3,000 students, various machines do break down on a regular basis, but the staff at the Lyon Center are not always allowed to repair the machines themselves, Varma said.
“There are certain parts that we do not keep in stock, so we have to wait,” Varma said. “A lot of machines are under warranty, so we cannot touch and open them — it has to be the company.”
Varma attributed the current rise in broken machines to the return of students to campus, yet said he did not consider the broken machines to be a situation of concern.
“There will always be a few machines down at any time. This is quite normal,” Varma said. “We didn’t have a lot of problems during the summer, but with students coming back, machines will break. But I think it’s under control.”