With pandemic restrictions on campus lifted, Cabrini’s Fit 4 U club hopes to increase its activities and drive up membership.
Fit 4 U’s beginnings
Fit 4 U is a campus fitness club started in the fall of 2020 by then-freshman exercise science major Kaitlyn Pancoast and Christel Darcelin, criminology and sociology double major. Pancoast is the club’s president, and Darcelin serves as its secretary. The club was founded to provide an outlet for students interested in fitness, but not in participating in any of the team sports or intramurals Cabrini offers.
One of the early challenges was finding a time for club meetings that worked for everyone. “Ideally, common hour would be a great time, but there are a lot of education majors in the club, so they always miss out on those opportunities. It’s difficult because I can’t have a complete win with getting everyone there,” Pancoast said.
Planning the meetings proved to be a challenge as well, due to issues with reserving rooms and funding for certain activities. “It’s a huge process, so it’s hard for me to say ‘we’re going to have this on this day,’” Pancoast said.
Lack of funding also makes it difficult to organize activities that would attract potential new members. “If we were to have the funding available, we’d be able to do these bigger things like going to gyms, and I feel like those bigger things would get more people interested,” Pancoast said. “Obviously a lot of the things we don’t need money for, but it would definitely be very beneficial to show people where we can go as a club.”
The lack of funding stems from the fact that every club has to fundraise for itself, which can be an arduous task. “It’s a very difficult and long process to get that funding,” Pancoast said.
However, more structure is something the club aims for this semester, through the use of event calendars posted to its Instagram profile. “I’m just constantly trying to be in communication with the club, and try to give them at least a week in advance to know,” Pancoast said.
Future goals for Fit 4 U
The club is intended to serve as a welcoming place for students to come and get their minds off of their classes and schoolwork. “I just make sure to emphasize that this is a place where everyone’s welcome, no matter if they like working out or if they have worked out in the past. We’re also focusing a lot on mental health,” Pancoast said.
Alyssa Remington, sophomore graphic design and design management major, is a member of the club who has found it to be beneficial. “Before the club, I would go to the gym every now and then just to get my mind off of school. It helps my mental health pretty well, and it gives me something to do with my roommates,” she said.
Many of the club’s participants share that same sentiment. “A lot of people have come up to me and said ‘I’ve never worked out before, and this is fun,’ or ‘I feel comfortable being here and doing this,’” Pancoast said. “I really try to focus on the members and get feedback from them because it’s more so about them.”
Finding the time to stay active while balancing a busy college class schedule can be a huge challenge. “You don’t have to invest a lot of time or money into keeping yourself healthy. The key is consistency,” Mark Greenwood, physical therapist and owner of Ultimate Wellness in Havertown, PA, said. “If you can develop the habit of doing something, regardless of how little it is, if you elevate your heart rate, you can accomplish a lot. Your body will thank you for it.”
The future of the club is somewhat uncertain, as it’s not clear who will take over its leadership once the current executive board members graduate. “A goal I’ll be focusing on at the end of this year into next year is finding someone who wants to take it over,” Pancoast said. “A lot of officers are either seniors right now or juniors with me. So, the goal is finding someone that will truly care about it and work hard at keeping this going.”
The club recently achieved its goal of landing a faculty advisor, Dr. Anjuli Gairola, an exercise science professor. “That’s a huge thing in making sure everything’s running smoothly, and doing what we need to be doing for the club,” Pancoast said.